Friday, November 30, 2007

Recipe: Red Wine Pears with Marscapone Cream

Pears stewed in Red Wine
11 Bartlett or Anju pears, peeled, with stalks on (this recipe works for up to 15)
Half a bottle of white or dessert wine
Two cups of red wine
150 ml of honey or maple syrup
2 Tbsp of cinnamom
2 Tbsp of allspice
4 Tbsp of caster sugar

Marscapone Cream
170ml of cream, whipped
100ml of marscapone cheese
A punnet of blackberries
A punnet of raspberries

I always find pears stewed in red wine the easiest thing to make and the good thing is it's quite healthy as well. I prefer to stew brown skinned pears, rather than green-skinned pears though, the reason for that is that the brown skin pears tend to be sweeter, while the green-skinned ones are more sharp tasting (the offset is that brown-skin pears tend to be slightly grainer while green pears have a tighter grain texture).

I like making these becuase the pears look so beautifully pristine when they come out of their wine bath and have air-dried into a smooth berry-maroon hue. That being said, I like using white wine, as it tends to be less tannic and sweeter, stewing only in red wine tends to impart a very bitter, residued taste to your pears.

Before turning on the heat, I rub the honey onto the pears, then immerse them into the bath and splash red wine over them for colour. The sauce will turn red as well and slowly caramelize.

Over the cooking process, I sprinkle caster sugar over the pears again- these were on the stove for an hour on simmer but you should just check them once in awhile and make sure they don't start to disintegrate, you want them soft but still supple and turgid.

Beat the whipping cream till it forms soft peaks, then fold in the marscapone cheese and top with blackberries and raspberries. Serve the pears standing up, lift them from the pot by the stalks and chop the bottoms flat, if they don't stand naturally.

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