Saturday, May 06, 2006

RECIPE: Garnet Pears

Garnet Pears over Pound Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Acidulated Water
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Poached Pears
4 Pears, firm but ripe
2½ cups water
½ cup Orange juice
3 cups of red wine
1 cup Ruby Port
2 cups sugar
Zest of two oranges
1-teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoon crushed green cardamom from the pods
Chocolate Sauce
1 Pound Cake

To make the acidulated water, combine the 4 cups of water with the lemon juice. Carefully peel a pear without removing stem. You can either partially core the pear or leave it whole. If you partially core it, be very careful not to push the corer all the way up because you want the stem to stay intact. Place in acidulated water and then repeat with next three pears.

In a pot large enough to hold 4 pears, combine water, wine, port, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Open the green cardamom pods and scrape out the seeds into a mortal and pestle or bowl. Crush the seeds as finely as possible and add to poaching mixture. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and it comes to a simmer. Place the pears into poaching mixture. Reduce heat and slowly simmer until pears are tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer pears to a plate. Boil liquid in saucepan until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill pears in poaching liquid. Reheat pears and poaching liquid until warmed through prior to serving.

Slice pound cake into 4 1-inch thick slices. Either cut off the crust and cut in half or cut into a shape with a large cookie or biscuit cutter.

Dip pound cake in chocolate sauce so that the chocolate coats the bottom half of the slice. Place the slice on the bottom of a dessert dish with the chocolate sauce side down. Place one pear on top of cake. Drizzle with roughly 2 tablespoons of warm poaching sauce.

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