A delicious dessert that is perfect for cold weather… or anytime ripe pears are available. The base of the poaching liquid is the same as making mulled wine. I used an Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi for this recipe. Lodi California is known for great Zinfandels.
This recipe can be made in a 3 quart Instant Pot or in a skillet on the stove top.
2 ripe firm pears
2 cups red zinfandel
1 orange zest and the juice of 1/2 the orange
1/3 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Thickener for Sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water
4 sprigs mint
4 tsp mascarpone cheese
- Select pears that are nearly ripe and unbruised. I used Bartlett pears that were yellow green and still slightly firm.
- Rinse pears, pat dry, peel with a paring knife and cut in half lengthwise. Start the cut just to one side of the stem.
- Remove the core and seeds from the center of the pear with a melon baller or a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon.
- Cut an orange in half. Holding 1/2 an orange in the palm of your hand, rub the cut side of the orange along both sides of the cut pears to keep the pears from oxidizing.
- Pour Gluhwein ingredients (except the pears) into the stainless steel liner of the Instant Pot. Set the IP to saute', stir the ingredients until the sugar dissolves and the spices blend with the wine.
- Add the cut pears to the IP (no rack needed), close the lid. Turn the IP off then back on to MANUAL 3 minutes.
- Close the steam vent. Use the quick release feature when cooking is complete.
- Carefully remove pears from the IP using a large serving spoon. * If you want to enjoy some Gluhwein, ladle the spiced wine into a mug and enjoy!
- If instead you would like to thicken the spiced wine to create a nice sauce for the pears; combine the cornstarch and water in a small measuring cup. Set IP to saute', pour thickener into the pot and stir until sauce thickens, lower IP setting to warm, cook and stir the sauce for 5 minutes on warm and cook out the cornstarch taste. Turn IP off, pour sauce in a serving bowl.
- To plate: Add a tablespoon of sauce to each small serving plate, top with a poached pear (cut side up).
- Add a teaspoon of mascarpone cheese to the center of the pear then add a sprig of mint for a colorful garnish.
TIPS: If you have poached an x-tra pear… no worries, here is another recipe idea~ Place the pear in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. Add the pear to a bed of salad greens, top with some crumbled blue cheese, diced cooked chicken if you like) and garnish with some candied nuts. Salad Dressing: Add a small amount of a light oil and vinegar salad dressing to lightly coat the salad greens. You now have a delicious main dish to serve the next day!
Want more recipes like this? Check out my cookbook Small Kitchen Big Flavors! https://smallkitchenbigflavors.blog/