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Pears Poached in Riesling (D, TNT)
Source: 12/26/01 The Plain Dealer
Serves: 6

6 medium pears, preferably Bosc, about 2-1/2 pounds total (see notes)
1 large navel orange, rinsed well and dried
3-1/2 cups Riesling wine (see notes)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick (about 3"), broken in half
Powdered cinnamon
Mint sprigs

Honey Cream:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup sour cream

Make Fruit:
Peel the fruit, leaving stems attached. Cut a slice from the bottom of each so that it will stand without wobbling when served.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel skin from orange forming long strips, trying to avoid white flesh (which is bitter) just beneath the colored part of the skin (the zest). Cut into thin julienne strips about 2" long. Place strips in a large, heavy, non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel, enamel-clad metal or Pyrex) with a lid.

Juice orange to get 1/2 cup liquid and add to saucepan along with wine, sugar, coriander and cinnamon stick. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to simmer.

Add pears. Bring mixture to simmer again. Simmer, covered, until pears are tender when pierced with tip of a sharp knife, 25 to 30 minutes for riper pears, 45 to 50 minutes for less ripe fruit.

As pears are poaching, gently turn them with tongs or slotted spoon several times so that they cook evenly on all sides.

Remove pears from liquid and set fruit aside. Increase heat and cook poaching liquid until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks.

Return pears to syrup and set aside to cool. When cooled, cover pan and refrigerate. (When ready to serve, reheat pan with pears, covered, over very low heat just to warm them and the reduced liquid.)

Make Honey Cream:
Whip cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer on slower speed, drizzle honey into whipped cream along with ground coriander. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. With a wire whisk, fold in sour cream. This will deflate the stiffly whipped cream slightly, giving it a yogurt-like consistency.

Stand each pear on a dessert plate and drizzle with some of the reduced poaching syrup, making sure to include some orange peel with each serving. Spoon a generous dollop of honey cream by side of each pear. Dust with powdered cinnamon; add a mint sprig to each serving for color.

Poster's Notes:
The pears should be ripe but still slightly firm to the touch.

One standard bottle of wine contains about 3-1/2 cups.

Pears can be poached and refrigerated 1 day ahead of serving.

Posted by Susan Greene

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A