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Cr(EAT)e Food Blog: Still Life with Pears

Untitled Poached Pears

Untitled Poached Pears

These deep burgundy pears boast a dark, beautiful color from poaching in rich South American wine and a myriad of winter spices that include cinnamon and star anise. Throughout the long, cold holiday season, Poached Pears have been a staple in the Eleven kitchens, finding their way onto menus for intimate dinner parties, large receptions, and even this month’s Tasting Menu, which is inspired from The Artists’ Eye exhibition. 

At first glance and taste, these highly stylized specimens may intimidate even the most seasoned cook, chef, or gourmet; but with my easy, sure-fire recipe, you’ll be impressing your friends in no time.  Try them as an interesting side to braised beef and lamb, or perhaps as a whimsical dessert, dripping in fresh-made caramel, shaved nuts, or crème Anglaise.  Regardless, this recipe is yet another reason to spend time in your kitchen creating your very own culinary masterwork.  Live, Love, and cr(EAT)e in ELEVEN!

Untitled Poached Pears Poached Pear Image II

  • 4-6 peeled, cored, and aliced pears (recommend Bosc or Anjou)
  • 3 cups of red wine (recommend malbec)
  • 3/4 cups of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice (may also add orange zest if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 6 stars of anise

  Preparation: Combine all ingredients, except pears, and bring to a boil. Set the wine mixture to a rolling boil, turn heat down to a simmer and slowly add the pears. Simmer for 15 minutes and then turn pears and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes – until they are pliable.

Remove pears and let them cool. Boil wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by more than half…or becomes syrupy. Pour sauce over pears and serve with either crème Anglaise, crème fraiche, and/or caramel sauce.

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