I've been craving dessert like no body's buisness lately - probably because I am trying to restrict myself from sugary foods in an effort to get back on track after the holidays, which pretty much isn't as bad as I thought it would be. However, the other day I went to a local produce outlet and was blown away by all of the beautiful fruits and vegetables at just pennies! For $19 and change, I bought: a cantelope, 3 kiwi fruits, 2 pears, 1 pint each of blueberries and blackberries, 1 lb of strawberries, a cucumber, 1 red pepper, 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, a loaf of crusty Italian bread and some feta cheese. How exciting is that?!??
Back when I made the White Chocolate and Spiced Pear Tiramisu, I really enjoyed the soft graininess of the poached pears, and immediately wanted to try a different kind of dessert that involved those wine poached pears. A perfect inspiration!
The following is the result:
WINE POACHED PEARS WITH A SIMPLE FRUIT SALAD
4 ripe Anjou pears, peeled but left whole
2 cups of dry Vermouth
2 cups of pear nector
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
4 tbsp honey
Fruit Salad (cut into small pieces):
1 lb strawberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
3 kiwi fruit
In a deep saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients. Drop in peeled pears and bring liquid to a boil. Drop heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the pears are fully poached and soft when pierced with a knife. Remove pears from heat and set aside. Increase heat and bring the liquid to a boil, cooking until liquid is reduced and thick. Let cool.
Meanwhile, cut up all fruit salad ingredients into small pieces (as this resembles a salsa of sorts). Place in a bowl and keep chilled until service.
For service: Place fruit salad in a bowl, creating a crater in the middle for the poached pear to sit. Position pear, and drizzle sauce over everything. Add a sprig of mint (I only had parsley on hand!) to the pear for a bit of whimsy. If desired, sprinkle a touch of powdered sugar over dessert, or add a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Stand back and take the compliments!
Not only are you eating every color in the rainbow - which the experts say is beneficial, but you are also experiencing a bunch of different tastes and textures. This dessert was the perfect ending to a light meal, and was not much fuss to prepare (although it did remind me that it is time to sharpen my knife). Plus, how pretty!
Edited to add: Son of a Bitch!!! I thought I was being super cleaver creating a new recipe...but epicurious.com had a very similar recipe (and picture) for almost the exact same thing! Sigh.