I had to tinker with the ingredients to reflect what was available to me...no fresh juniper berries and I like to drink my wine... but the rest of it was a snap. There is very litte preparation time involved and the lengthy bake time can be done while you are eating your dinner. All in all it is an easy solution for the what to serve for dessert on a weeknight.
Poached Pears in Wine, Vinegar and Orange Peel with Cloves
adapted from A Taste of Savoie.
- 4 hard pears,
- 8 fl oz dry red wine
- 8 fl oz organic cider vinegar
- 6 tbsp sugar or a shy 1/4 cup
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- rind from one clean thick skinned orange
- about 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Before baking preheat oven to 375F. To prepare pears peel and leave leave core and stem. Combine wine, vinegar, sugar, cloves and orange rind with a fresh squeeze of orange juice (about 2 tbsp worth) in a small sauce pan. Warm through to dissolve the sugar. Place pears, side down in a casserole dish*, pour in liquid, cover with a lid and bake at 375F for 30 minutes, rotate and bake another 30 minutes.
To serve put in a small bowl pour liquid over top of the pear. A dessert spoon or fork will easily cut through the flesh from the fruit.
The sauce can be made ahead of time but I recommend peeling the pears shortly before use, as they will turn brown and start to dry out.
*The casserole dish should be big enough to hold the pears but not too big. Ideally you want the liquid to come up the sides of the pears.
I cooked an extra pear the next day just so that I could cut it up and show a cross section of the slices. The colour from the wine that permeated the flesh was a beautiful crimson contrast to the juicy moist white fruit.
photos by me.