First off, hello, and welcome to our food blog, A Great Pear. We, Natalie and Rachael, are two crazy sisters who somehow decided to start this project over the summer. Lately, the two of us have been really busy with finals and end of the year assignments for school—but now that those are over, we have time to work on bringing you delicious food and great recipes.
To kick things off, we thought it would be appropriate to do something pear related, seeing as it has to do with the name of our blog. We stumbled upon the idea to do a pear sorbet along with red wine poached pears. The inspiration for the poached pears came from one of our favorite cookbooks, Bold and Healthy Flavors by Steven Raichlen, but the idea for the sorbet was completely our own. But it wasn’t really that easy, we did have to do some trial and error. The first time around, the sorbet was just too sweet. After reducing the sugar, there was still too much vanilla, so we opted to just put in the seeds and leave out the pod. But finally, we created a recipe that met our expectations. And eating it with the poached pears… delicious! So after creating original recipes and working hard in the kitchen, we are so excited to be posting our very first recipe.
Servings: 4, with leftover sorbet
- 4 large pears (we used Asian Pears)
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 cups of dry red wine (we used a Merlot)
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6-8 orange zest slices (about 1 1/2″ long and 1/4″ wide)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- Four pears (we used red pears)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
To make the sorbet: Start off by adding the water and sugar to a medium saucepan. Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the water-sugar mixture. Let the mixture simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. While the water is simmering, peel, core, and chop the pears. You’ll want to chop them into about one inch chunks. Add the pears to the pot once the sugar is dissolved. Cover and let simmer on low heat until the pears offer no resistance when poked with a fork or knife (about 20-25 minutes).
Once the pears are completely cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Add honey to the pear mixture and then puree the whole thing in a blender (we used an immersion blender because it was easier). Pour the pureed pears into a bowl and let sit until cooled to room temperature. Put the bowl into the fridge to chill for at least two hours. Put a container into the freezer to chill for later. Quickly stir the pear mixture before putting it into the ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions. Once done, put into the chilled container and freeze for at least two hours until hardened.
To make the poached pears: Put the wine, 3/4 cup of water, cinnamon, orange zest and sugar into a tall and narrow saucepan (but make sure it can fit all four pears) and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the pears and lower the heat so it simmers. Let simmer for 12-17 minutes, or until a skewer can easily poke to the middle of the pear (keep in mind that the core will still be fairly hard). When fully cooked, remove the pears and let them cool standing upright.
Meanwhile, turn the heat up and let the wine mixture reduce to about 1 1/2 cups. While it is reducing, mix together the water and cornstarch. Add it to the wine once it has reduced. Let cook for a minute longer until it has a sauce-like consistency.
To assemble: Put a scoop of the sorbet into a bowl and add one of the pears. Drizzle the reduced wine sauce on top. Dig in and enjoy!