Today is National Dessert Day. Celebrate with these Port Poached Pears. During the fall, it is fun cooking dishes that simmer for a long time, filling the house with fragrant aromas. Have fun making the recipe at home. You'll love the Zabaglione cream over the top of the tender pears. Find this recipe and more wonderful fall recipes in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.
Port Poached Pears
2 cups water
2 cups Port
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
To poach pears: Peel the pears, leaving their stems intact. Remove seeds with a melon baller. Place each pear in a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep from browning.
Combine poaching liquid into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pears. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until pears are tender. (Covered) (About 15-30 minutes) To check for doneness, pierce the thickest section of the pear with a toothpick.
Remove from heat and transfer pears to a platter to cool. Bring poaching liquid back to a boil until the liquid reduces to a thin syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and strain the poaching liquid over pears.
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup Marsala Wine
½ C heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
Whip egg yolks and sugar in a heat resistant bowl until pale yellow and forms a ribbon. Slowly mix in wine. Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Transfer bowl to a double boiler and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. It should coat the back of the spoon. You want your eggs to cook slowly so the mixture stays very smooth. Remove from heat and set the pan over a bowl of ice water. Cover the surface of the Zabaglione and refrigerate. Whip cream before serving and fold it into the zabaglione until smooth. Serve on top of the poached pears.
*You can also use Zabaglione to make tiramisu. *Could also stir in Mascarpone cheese instead of whipped cream.
Zabaglione is a classic Italian dessert originating in the Piedmont region. Marsala wine is from Sicily and can be found in your local grocery store. Use the extra wine to make creamy chicken Marsala.
Equipment: peeler, knife, melon baller, 3 bowls, strainer, mixer, double boiler
Photo by Shauna Alexander