Let's talk about pears. Sweet, juicy pears. They're a winter-time gift when other fruits are sparse. The bosc pear season is long, spanning most of the coldest days of the year. In the olden days, pears and citrus fruits were literally gifts, stuffed into stockings. Today, after a week (or more) of holiday dinners, desserts, and cookies, these pears are a light dessert for ringing in the new year.
The best part about this dessert (other than eating it, of course), is filling the house with the aroma of cloves steeped in honey and fruit (and, ok--you caught me, drinking the fruit and spice flavored wine that results... by the mug full). (While we're being honest... that fruity mulled wine, still steaming is really the cocktail I'll be craving on New Year's Eve!).
This recipe is simple and elegant all at once: a few ingredients in a pot, a bit of time, and a glimmering pear in sweet fragranced sauce. It's also totally New Year's Resolution friendly, but since it's still 2014, you can serve these babies warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of coconut cream! Trust me. Go for it. You can skip the toppings next year.
Citrus, Spice and Wine Poached Pears
4 bosc pears
3 cups fruity white wine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
10 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. Peel the skin from the pears. If you wish, remove the pit of the pear by cutting in from the bottom with a pear knife and removing the core.
2. Bring the remaining ingredients to a simmer in a large pot. Arrange the pears in a single layer in the simmering wine mixture. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, covered, until pears are tender (poke it with a fork to test it).
3. Remove the pears from the pot and set aside. Bring the wine mixture to a boil. Allow the wine mixture to reduce for about 20-30 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant and the liquid begins to thicken (you may need more or less time depending on the size of your pot--check on it occasionally). Once the liquid has thickened, turn off the heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
4. Serve the pears at room temperature or warm on a small rimmed plates or in bowls, drizzled with the wine sauce. Add chocolate syrup, paleo ice cream, or coconut cream.