Monday, October 4, 2010

Poached pears

The mangoes in Massachusetts are terrible, but the apples and pears are great! A ripe, juicy pear is one of the best things on earth, but unfortunately there's only about a ten-minute window of perfect for a pear. Miss that ten minutes, and they're either too hard or too soft.

But too-soft pears can be put to other uses, namely, poaching them in wine. Be sure to have lots of vanilla ice cream on hand to serve them with--some almond cookies wouldn't hurt, either.

Peel and core six to seven small pears. In a pan, combine 1/2 cup OJ, most of a bottle of a good red wine (I used Two-Buck Chuck; we could debate whether that's a "good" wine, but it did the trick), a cup of water, and some cardamom and cinnamon. Let it boil, add the pears, then simmer on low until the pears have absorbed some of the liquid and are a pleasing wine color (30 to 45 minutes). Remove the pears and bring the sauce back to a boil; let it reduce until there's only about a cup or so of liquid left. Pour that over the pears and ice cream, and enjoy.

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