A sweet and sophisticated dessert that’s high in ﬁber, fat free and has a relatively low glycemic load may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. How could anything that looks this delicious be so good for us, especially when we drizzle the pears with the lightly-thickened spiced wine… and garnish with some ﬁnely chopped ﬁlberts or walnuts?
|Prep Time||20 Minutes|
|Cook Time||20 Minutes|
- 4 ea pears (with stem on)
- 3 cups Red Wine (a hearty one)
- 1 ea Star Anise Pod
- 3 ea cloves
- .5 stick Cinnamon
- .33 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp Walnuts or Filberts (crushed)
- Peel each whole pear, leaving the stem intact. Then, using a new, clean ‘scrubby’ pad, gently rub each freshly peeled pear to smooth out the peeler marks. Carefully core each pear to remove the bud and internal seeds. Best to use a small melon baller. This creates a modest internal cavity in the fat section of the pear which allows the spiced poaching wine to better permeate more of the ﬂesh. Finally, cut the bottom of the pear to ﬂatten any curve, allowing it to sit upright.
- Combine the wine, star anise, cloves and cinnamon in a narrow but deep pot capable of holding 4 pears. The pears can go in at this stage as well. If a little more liquid is required to cover the pears, add the rest of the bottle of wine, or add some water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring spiced wine to a gentle boil. Then lower heat to a very slow simmer.
- Poach the pears until a toothpick inserted deeply into the fruit slides fairly easily into the ﬂesh. Depending on initial ripeness, this could take 10 to 20 minutes. During poaching, be sure to turn any pears that rise above the wine level so that each pear is equally colored and ﬂavored. Also, do not poach to a point - so soft - that each pear cannot be lifted and transferred by it’s stem.
- When done, transfer pears to a communal serving dish and keep warm. Quickly put a cup of the strained poaching wine into a smaller pot over medium-high heat. Combine a 1/3 teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon or two of the poaching wine. Blend thoroughly so there’s no lumps. When the cup of spiced wine reaches a rolling boil, add a ﬁne drizzle of the cornstarch mixture. Reduce the heat and whisk rapidly to thicken the wine to a loose viscous consistency.
- Serve one pear per person, with or without the spiced wine sauce and crushed nuts as garnish.
Ripe pears are naturally sweet and high in ﬁber. This dessert is fancy and delicious, but oﬀers no added sugar and no fat. If, however, a little saturated fat and sodium is okay in your diet, consider serving a small wedge of quality hard cheese alongside the pear.
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