We got the most wonderful gift. Following my trip to visit Harry and David in October, I received an e-mail from their marketing team informing me that I'd be getting 6 months of their Fruit of the Month club. And here's the thing... I so rarely buy fruit at the store. I like it enough, but I rarely cook with it. We'll pick up some lemons and limes and maybe an orange or two for cocktail-makings, but to actually eat, no. It's not that we don't enjoy fruit, it's just never on our shopping list.
So these boxes we've been getting from H&D have been a treat. This month, we were graced with their Riviera Pears. Really, they're perfect. I mean, look at them in these pictures. Have you seen finer pears?
You really don't have to do anything to them, but if you are going to cook them, I suggest poaching them. And if you're going to that, well, red wine makes for a fabulous poaching liquid. While you're at it, you might as well top it with some lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraîche. Does anything sound better? I don't think so.
Red Wine Poached Pears
750 ml bottle of red wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1. Peel the pears and cut off a small portion of the bottoms, so that they sit flat. Submerge pears in a bowl of water and lemon juice.
2. In a saucepan big enough to hold the pears, add a bottle of wine, the sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, clove, and orange rind. Bring to a simmer and let the sugar dissolve.
3. Once this has occurred, place the pears into the pan so that the wine covers them. To keep them submerged, take a piece of parchment paper and cut a circle big enough to fit on top of the sauce pan. Place a plate over this to allow the parchment to touch the pears.
4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, let cool to room temperature, and serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraîche.