Recently I was contacted by KitchenAid® to participate in a recipe challenge for the holiday season (PLUS share a giveaway with you too!). My challenge: POACH PEARS WITH PINOT. A perfectly paired palate pleaser for the holidays, don’t you think?Precisely.
We’ve been in her home for over six years now and our KitchenAid® appliances, especially our KitchenAid® cooktop, has been through the works. It’s a KitchenAid® 5 burner stainless surface gas cooktop.
Hands-down, cooking with a gas cooktop is my favorite, and this KitchenAid® has served us well. I only wish I had a second one to juggle the many pots and pans for the busier cooking times of the year (like now). It’s been a workhorse for sure. The only thing it’s missing is a little elf to come out and clean it every night while I’m sleeping. Wouldn’t that be something. I think KitchenAid® should start work on developing that feature right away. Indeed.
A girl can dream. Until then, back to the Poached Pears with Pinot. Poached Pears sounds like such a fancy, difficult dish. But it’s not. Really. If you can peal fruit, stir, and simmer, you’ll have no problem. And it’s perfect for the holidays, because it can be made ahead of time with a little rewarming of sauce. I do love a dish that can be made ahead. Let me show you how easy it is: Begin by bringing some Pinot, water and brown sugar to a boil.
While that warms, begin preparing the pears. First, peal the pears, leaving the stems on.
Next core the bottom blossom end. And if it’s a wobbly pear, like some pears like to be, slice off a sliver of the bottom so it will stand perfectly perpendicular to a plate.
In addition to the pears going for a swim, you’ll be adding: a cinnamon stick, orange slices (or other orange-y citrus), nutmeg, and almond extract.
Once the Pinot mixture has come to a boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and add in the remaining ingredients, laying the pears on their sides. Simmer for a while, at least 20 minutes or so, until the pears are tender.
During the simmering, gently turn the pears so they can bathe altogether in the Pinot poaching party.
Be gentle! It’s very easy to puncture pears when they are poached. Once the pears have finished poaching, remove them and place them in a bowl. Aren’t they pretty? Poached pears are so dramatic.
Continue cooking the poaching liquid at a low boil until liquid reduces, and becomes more syrupy.
When the poaching liquid has thickened up, strain it over the patiently waiting pears. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or ready to serve.
These pretty Poached Pears with Pinot is a pleasing dessert that any person, or elf—a cleaning elf or not—would positively enjoy! I know I did.
And now for a giveaway!
BlogHer and KitchenAid® are sponsoring a sweepstakes for a $200 Visa gift card. Entering is simple. Just answer this question in the comments below: Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
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For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 12/2/13 – 12/31/13.
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- 1½ cups water
- 1½ cups Pinot
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 4 Bosc pears, ripe but not soft
- 1 medium orange (or 2 tangerine, mandarin, or other small orange-y citrus)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- In a medium saucepan whisk together, water, Pinot, brown sugar and bring to a low boil.
- While water/Pinot mixture comes to a boil, peal pears, and core blossom end. If needed, slice a bit off the bottom so pear will stand upright.
- Slice orange.
- Back to the stove. Lower heat to medium-low, and add orange slices, nutmeg, and almond extract to saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Lay pears in Pinot mixture, cover and simmer until pears are tender, about 20-25 minutes—maybe longer. Halfway through cook time, gently turn pears over.
- When pears are tender, remove them from saucepan, place in bowl.
- Return saucepan contents to a low boil and cook until liquid reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Strain liquid over pears. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. May keep refrigerated for up to 2 days, until ready to serve.
- Reheat sauce or serve chilled drizzled over pears. Serve whipped cream, and/or toasted nuts alongside.
(This post is sponsored by KitchenAid®. As always, all opinions are my own.)