Monday, November 05, 2007
Roasted Forelle Pears in Red Wine
Pears with Custard Sauce
While doing my weekly grocery shop, I stopped short when I saw some lovely little pears I thought were a variety called Seckel, but had lovely reds and greens with loads of tiny speckles called lenticels. I was familiar with Comice, Anjou, Bosc and Bartlett pears, but I had never heard of Forelle pears. After some research, I found that the Forelle pear is a very old variety brought to the United States by German immigrants in the 1800's and is grown in Oregon and Washington in small crops. These little beauties turn golden yellow as they ripen and their small size makes them wonderful snacking pears, but in cooking the flavor excels.
Pears make very good still life subjects with their beautiful shapes and colors so I had the best of both worlds; I could photograph, cook them and then photograph them again in another state.
Susan Spungen's book, "Recipes, a Collection for the Modern Cook" has a wealth of simple, fresh and flavorful food to serve to family and friends. I chose Roasted Pears in Red Wine, a light but robust dessert that goes well with Fall and Winter dishes, especially Italian. Ms. Spungen suggests serving the Roasted Pears with ricotta cheese, but I had leftover custard from the Bostini Cream Pie, a Daring Bakers challenge from October. The custard poured over the individual pears was not only lovely to look at,
but it's smooth creamy texture went well with the tangy pears.
Pears Ready For the Oven
Roasted Pears With Red Wine
10 Forelle pears,just beginning to ripen and stems intact (you may use 6 Bosc, Bartlett, or Anjou pears instead)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup currants
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups dry red wine, a good Italian Chianti (I used a Red Zinfandel)
1 bay leaf
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Finely ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the bottom of the pears slightly so they will stand upright in your baking dish. Peel the top halves with a vegetable peeler. Core the pears from the bottom with a melon baller, then stuff the bottoms with the raisins and currants. You will have some leftover to sprinkle on top before baking.
Arrange the pears in a tight fitting dish. Rub the top of each pear with about 1/2 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the pears and pour the wine into the pan. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, a large pinch of freshly ground pepper, and the remaining raisins and currants and place into the oven.
Roast 30 minutes to an hour, basting every ten to 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. The liquid will become quite syrupy. If the pears are cooked before the syrup thickens, remove the pears to a plate and reduce the liquid in a saucepan over medium heat until it thickens. Once the syrup has thickened, return the pears and syrup to the baking pan. Continue to baste the pears with the syrup as they cool, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer pears to a serving dish and pour the syrup over. Serve warm. With the small pears, serve one or two with the custard sauce poured over.
Pears After Roasting
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.