Recipe of the week: Poached Italian Summer Pears

Down at the local green grocers yesterday, I saw that the pere coscia or Coscia pears had arrived.  These are small, firm, sweet pears which are in season from late Summer until the beginning of Autumn.  They go well raw, with gorgonzola, or in a salad.  In their honour, what better way to cook them than in the classic manner, poached in some Italian red wine, cooled and then eaten with vanilla gelato.  Recipe after the jump.

Red Wine Poached Pears

Degree of difficulty: easy

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15-25 minutes

1kg of small pears, firm.

2.5 cups red wine

1 1/3 cup white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 inch piece of mandarin or orange peel or zest

2 inch piece of lemon zest

Step 1 – Place the red wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and zests onto the heat to boil in a pot that fits all of the pears snugly upright. Meanwhile peel the pears well making sure that you get all of the skin off (the skin that remains won’t colour) and trim the bottom so they will stand up straight when served. By the time you’ve finished peeling, your wine should be boiling. Add the pears and cook turning three or four times until cooked (depends on how big your pears are). Remove the pears as soon as they are done to prevent further cooking).  You don’t want them to become too soft.

Step 2 – Taste the syrup and if you want it thicker, then put it back on the boil and reduce until syrupy-anywhere from 5-12 minutes.

Serve the pears with some of the syrup and thick cream, vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream/gelato

Recipe and Photo from Not Quite Nigella.

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