There’s something about poaching that transforms a sweet, fresh innocent pear from Maryann into that sultry seductress, Ginger. (And it’s not just the fresh ginger in the recipe.)
Perhaps it’s the careful striptease of the peel. Maybe it’s seeing voluptuously curved bottom of the fruit peek up out of the poaching liquid. Or maybe it’s the way the soft, poached flesh surrenders to the slightest bit of pressure, falling apart and weeping red, ripe juices all over the bed…
OK, we’re going to go stand in front of the freezer for a bit to cool off.
Ginger Poached Pears
makes 4 poached pears (depending on their size)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
4-5 ¼-inch thick slices of fresh ginger (more, if you’d like more “heat”)
1 bottle red wine
4-6 firm pears (we used the longer, brown skinned Bosc pears)
other options for flavor: cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla bean
In a saucepan that will fit 4-6 pears in a single layer (laying down), heat water, sugar and ginger (and other options for flavor, is using) until sugar dissolves. Add wine. Keep liquid at simmer.
Peel pears, leaving them whole, stems attached. Place pears in saucepan, making sure they are completely submerged in the poaching liquid. If they are not, add more water until the pears are covered.
Simmer pears until tender, about 20 minutes. Using a wooden spoon (or other utensil that won’t cut or poke pears), turn them over occasionally to make sure the pears cook and color evenly.
Serve pears warm as they are, alongside ice cream, with creme fraiche or like us, on a bowl of steel cut oats with candied ginger.
TasteSpotting Kitchen Note
Pears can be cut in half or quarters and cored, and cooked for a shorter amount of time. Just watch the pot and test the pears after about 10 minutes.