Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Poached Pears

My sister-in-law Danette, has a long standing tradition for doing brunch on Christmas day.  Last year, we were fortunate enough to have her and her family come out to New York for Christmas.  So, as a result, my family got introduced to brunch on Christmas day.  We liked it so much that we decided to make it a new tradition in our family as well.  So I got busy baking and cooking.  We had homemade cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread pudding, baked apples, a chicken wreath and poached pears.  The poached pears were a new add this year and I do believe will replace the baked apples for years to follow.  They were incredibly easy and so delicious.  It was a "mmm" every bite good.  I pulled a bunch of recipes off line and put in a little of this and that, and honestly, I don't think you can mess these little beauties up. I didn't measure anything, but did a guesstimate (yes, it is a word, look it up).   I loved the festive red color too.  I will be making them not just at holiday time too, because they were that good! 



  • 6-8 ripe but firm pears, peeled, halved and cored (or can peel and leave whole increasing cooking time, leave stem on)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • couple peels or orange zest (no pith)
  • cinnamon stick or tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves.
Put it all in a big pan and let it simmer gently at least 45 minutes or until your hearts content.  Turn off stove and let rest for 15 min. Serve warm with whipped cream or cold if you prefer.

A few hints: 
  • Can substitute cranberry or red grape juice for red wine, if prefer . 
  • If doing whole pears, take an unused plastic scrubby and go over peel strokes to make it smooth.  
  • Can also add 1/2 cup or so of orange juice.  
  • Can add vanilla beans if desire. 
  • Can also serve along a rich dessert to lighten it up.  
  • And finally, if you have time you can simmer away that delicious cooking liquid and let thicken into a topping sauce to go over finished pears.  

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