Poached Pears in Red Wine & Chocolate Glaze
Oh cupid, cupid where art my Romeo? Well, my Romeo John is happy with his wine pears a few days before Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of Valentine’s Day but with a two-year old mini Romeo bouncing off the walls our duo day is happily spent as a threesome and having a home cooked meal slinging pear across the dinner table. We celebrated our Valentine’s Day dinner during the impressive snow storm on Friday evening after anxiously waiting all the day on top of each other for the first snow flakes to arrive. How much more love can one ask for? J: “Tab, what are we having for dinner?” Me: “pears.” “This means I can have another of the chocolatie pears?” Two pears out of four left for our special dinner and Gabriel and I will get our own this time. But no fear my Romeo, I will share with you a bite of mine. Now that’s love.
Pears poached in red wine are an easy delicacy your special ones will think you slaved hours over. But since I don’t like slaving over anything (except my food photography these days), I have to come up with easy and sweet treats for big Romeo, little Romeo and I. The actual cooking time for the pears is long, I admit, but it’s really just a matter of letting the pears cook and checking in on them every 20 minutes.
For making the pears use whatever leftover bottles of red wine you have lying around. If you don’t have any leftovers buy something cheap. Any red wine will do. If it’s a port, however, make sure you consider the sugar content in the wine and adapt the recipe accordingly. The wine and spices will cook off and leave a delicious wine syrup that you will want to immediately slurp up on its own. But restrain yourself since the syrup is rich. I save what remains in a container to use as a luxurious drizzle on cookies, fruit, ice cream and even on my morning oatmeal.
The ingredient amounts on the recipe can make six pears with plenty of syrup left over. I chose to make four pears rather than six in fear that we would eat all of them in a day, which of course we did. Make sure you have enough room in the cooking pot to lay the pears down and rotate them throughout the cooking time. And keep basting. They will end up looking a deep ruby color. I don’t own a baster so I just use a big spoon. But be very careful as the syrup can jump while it’s simmering. A closed eye or burnt face while serving these ruby beauties would put a damper on things.
Can you tell how much fun I had with the chocolate? I wonder how Jackson Pollock’s drips would look on these?
- 4-6 Bosc pears
- 6 cups of red wine (any wine or mixture of red leftover wines works well)
- 1 cup of water
- 1½ cups of agave nectar
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of cardamon seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon of black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon of anise seeds
- ½ teaspoon of cloves
- 2 ounces of dark unsweetened chocolate
- 1½ teaspoons of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- Add spices except for cinnamon sticks to a mesh cooking bag and tie
- Add red wine, water, spice bag and cinnamon sticks to a large pot. Pot should be deep but not so deep that you cannot comfortably turn pears while cooking
- Bring wine and spices to a boil and lower heat
- Simmer wine mixture for 15 minutes
- While liquid simmers, peel pears leaving the stem intact
- Level bottom of pears with peeler or a small knife so that pears are able to stand on their own
- Turn heat off and stand pears in wine
- Turn heat back on to low and let pears cook for 20 minutes basting a couple of times~you will see the bottoms turning red
- Gently lay pears on their side
- Cook pears for 1½ hours gently rotating them with a wooden spoon and basting them every 20 minutes
- Remove pears from wine syrup and stand on a plate to completely cool
- Set aside wine syrup
- Transfer standing pears to wax paper
- Place chocolate and coconut oil in a heavy bottom pan or double boiler and melt over low heat whisking non-stop so that chocolate doesn’t burn
- Whisk maple syrup into chocolate
- Quickly pour chocolate into a small jar or something that works to pour chocolate~ you can also pour directly from the pan but be very careful as it will be hot (work with chocolate quickly as it will cool and get harder to pour)
- Pour chocolate over pears ~ it doesn’t need to look perfect
- Let chocolate on pears cool completely
- Drizzle pears with wine syrup and serve with a side of ice cream