Bosc pears are a good choice for this bistro-style dessert because they have a creamy texture that holds up well during cooking.
This recipe serves 4 but can easily be halved. Serve them at room temperature or reheat them just before serving; either way, this dessert will shine. See note for serving suggestions.
Recipe from Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Media Services
- 1 cup dry red wine, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/2 cup tawny port wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1-inch piece lemon or orange zest
- 4 Bosc pears, ripe, but firm with stems attached
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, bring the red wine, port, sugar, cinnamon and lemon or orange zest to a simmer, and dissolve the sugar. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Core the pears from the bottom and then cut the bottom flat so that they can stand upright. Wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around each stem to protect it from burning.
Place the pears stem side up in a large baking pan and then pour the wine mixture over them. (Reserve the saucepan.) Bake the pears for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a knife, basting every 15 minutes with the wine mixture.
Remove the pears from the oven and carefully remove the foil from the stems. Transfer the pears to a serving platter.
Pour off the remaining wine mixture into the reserved saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat and reduce the wine until it becomes a glaze. Spoon the glaze over the pears.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves, and serve warm, with vanilla ice cream if desired. These pears are also excellent served at room temperature. Serves 4.
Use a shallow rimmed glass or ceramic baking dish so that the liquid can reduce.
Try some other flavors: substitute pomegranate juice or cranberry cocktail for the port, or use only red wine, or try a sweet dessert wine flavored with a vanilla bean along with the sugar.
This recipe may be prepared up to 8 hours ahead through baking and kept at room temperature until ready to glaze, garnish and serve.
Serve these with biscotti or a crisp butter cookie.
Serve with whipped cream or French vanilla ice cream.
Per serving: 212 calories; 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 4 percent calories from fat); 47 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 mg sodium; 1 g protein; 4 g fiber.