Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brandy Poached Pears

I’ve been craving brandy poached pears ever since Grace Burrowes latest heroine reminisced about eating brandy poached pears in childhood. Pears poached in red wine, orange juice and spices are robust; a winter staple, especially served with elk steak with more of the reduced sauce over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Brandy poached are entirely different…delicate and heady, a memory of late summer.

Soft Focus

This week the small, locally owned grocer’s had red Anjou pears on sale…a lovely bin of fat, fragrant pears. Add in a windy, snowy, cold autumn day and these are the results.

The only problem…I used the last of my brandy! Will have to run out tomorrow for another bottle so I can have a small snifter with my bowl of poached pears…or open a bottle of Fre non-alocholic bubbly and eat the pears swimming in bubbles…or in reality, Both!

2 big, fat, ripe pears
6oz / 180ml brandy
6 oz / 180ml water
3-4 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
2” length of cinnamon stick (break a longer stick on the counter edge)
4 whole cloves
Nutmeg, freshly grated, 3-4 swipes aka not very much (optional)

Put the water, brandy, honey, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and cloves into a 1-1 ½ quart sauce pan on low-to-medium heat. I use my smallest burner, 5,000 btu.
While the sauce begins to heat, peel pears, core, quartering each half.
Place in sauce pan so all the slices are in the fluid. They don’t have to be completely covered.

Snifter o'Bliss

Cover pan with lid, or a saucer (darn it, sometimes those wee sauce pans don’t come with lids) and poach for 15 minutes. Halfway through, gently shift the pears so the uncovered part are moved down into the fluid.

At 15 minutes, check for tenderness. Pears go from just-right to pear sauce in a blink…I like mine tender yet still solid. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon to serving dish. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the liquids to syrup. Down to about ¼ the volume. Add the bit of fresh nutmeg.

Pour over pears and serve immediately. If storing, cool the syrup in the pan. Once cool, spoon over pears in storage container and place in the fridge. Otherwise the hot syrup will cook the pears a bit more.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That dash of nutmeg at the end is sheer genius. I'm afraid I might be tempted to un-vegan it with a schoop of high fat vanilla ice cream, too.