Try to find small pears, preferably only 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall, with the stems intact. I have found these smaller sized pears are easier to poach, and I prefer the presentation.
Make sure to cut a little off the bottom of the pear, so they stand up nice and tall. Peel them.
In a deep saute pan or pot, combine the wine, citrus, spices and….a couple slices of red beets. This is the secret ingredient that will give the pears their deep rich red color. Bring to a boil. Stir well and add the beets, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, gently stirring every few minutes, to evenly coat them in color, until just tender.
Tip: Play around with using different spices and flavorings, like star anise, pink peppercorns, juniper berry, or ginger. Remember to always taste your poaching liquid, for balance, sweetness and flavor. Adjust if necessary. If the poaching liquid doesn’t taste good, your pears won’t either.
Pears are done cooking when easily pierced with the tip of a knife. The best place to do this is on the bottom where the cut will not show. Transfer them to individual plates.
Strain the wine and place in a smaller pot or sauté pan and reduce by two thirds, until thickened and syrupy.
Spoon over the pears allowing it to puddle at the bottom and garnish with the pomegranate seeds. I like serving this with dollop of cardamon cream on the side ( see recipe below).
- 4 just ripe pears
- ½ bottle red wine
- 1 each lemon, orange
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- ¾ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 slices fresh beet
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Cardamom Cream ( optional)
- ¼-1/2 tsp ground cardamon (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a small pot, combine the wine, zest from ½ an orange, the juice from the lemon and orange, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and beet slices. Bring to a simmer and stir to allow beet slices to infuse.
- Add the pears and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, gently stirring and turning the pears to get uniform coloring. Simmer until they're easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 minutes depending on the size of the pears. With a slotted spoon, gently transfer the pears to individual plates.
- Strain the liquid and return to the stove, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened and syrupy and reduced by two-thirds, about 15 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the pears. Garnish with pomegranate.
- Tip: Play around with using different spices and flavorings, like star anise, pink peppercorns, juniper berry, or ginger. Remember to taste your poaching liquid, for balance, sweetness and flavor. Remember ... If the poaching liquid doesn't taste good, your pears probably won't either. :)
- To make cardamom creme- Place all ingredients in a mixer with whisk attachment..and whisk until stiff peaks form, or for a work out, whisk by hand in a mixing bowl. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.