Riesling poached pears with spun sugar
Poached pears are a classic desserts and I have posted recipes for poached pears here before. In that recipe I poached them in red wine and they were beautiful. Poached pears was also one of the desserts I found on almost all of the menus in Italy recently and I got to indulge myself in this lovely finale to many great dinners.
The other day I found little honey belle pears at our local produce department and brought them home with visions of poached pears on my mind. I usually poach pears in red wine but these, I thought, would be beautiful poached in riesling.
It’s a very simple recipe that anyone could make, but to fancy it up a bit I made spun sugar that is also not difficult but makes a great statement.
I poached the pears in a bottle of riesling, sugar, cinnamon stick and a strip of lemon peel. I added a cup of water to make sure the pears were covered in liquid. The sauce is a reduction of the poaching liquid, meaning that after I took the pears out i continued to boil the poaching liquid down until it reduced by half, then strained it and voila, a beautiful sauce ready to be poured over the pears.
- Serve them on their own with the sauce.
- Serve them with great gorgonzola.
- Sprinkle chopped caramelized nuts over for a nice crunch.
- Make the spun sugar or a simplified version of it, recipe here.
1 dozen honey belle pears or another variety of small pears
1 bottle riesling
1 cup sugar
2 strip of lemon zest (from top to bottom)
1 small cinnamon stick
Spun sugar (directions here)
Peel the pears but keep the stems.
Combine riesling, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon in a pot large enough to hold all the pears in the liquid and bring to a boil.
Add the pears and lower to a simmer.
Partially cover the pot and let the pears simmer in the liquid until they are soft but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size, freshness and heat). Insert a knife into a pear, if it goes in easily, the pears are done.
Remove pears into a bowl and set aside.
Increase heat under the pot and slow boil the liquid until it reduces by half and becomes syrupy.
Strain the sauce into a clean glass and set aside.
The pears are best served the day they are made but can survive in the fridge an extra day or so.
To serve, spoon some of the sauce into dessert bowls, place 2-3 pears per serving over the sauce and drizzle additional sauce over the pear to make them glisten.
If you make the spun sugar make it on the day you serve the pears and wrap it around the pears. It adds a sweet crunch that is nice with these pears.
Serve at room temperature. If you do not make spun sugar you could sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of chopped candied nuts for extra crunchy texture.
Enjoy the oooohhs and ahhhhhhs.