Riesling poached pears with cardamom cream

  • For the pears
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Riesling wine, preferably Spatlese
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 ripe pears, such as Conference, Comice, Red William, Anjou or Packham
  • For the cardamom cream
  • 240ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
1) Pour the Riesling into a medium saucepan and whisk in the sugar until it dissolves.

2) Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact if present. Remove the bottom stem end with a small melon ball scoop, and continue to scoop up into the pear to remove the core. Place the pears in the Riesling mixture (poaching liquid) after they are peeled and cored to prevent them from discolouring. (The acidity of the wine keeps them from browning). Add just enough water to cover the pears.

3) To keep the pears completely submerged in the poaching liquid, cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the pan and lay on the surface of the liquid. Place a small plate on top of the paper to weigh down the pears.

4) Cook the pears over medium-high heat, until the liquid just comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and poach the pears until they are just soft. The pears should be tender enough to pierce with a knife. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes for ripe, medium-sized pears, but this can vary depending on the size, variety and ripeness of the pear.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and cool the fruit completely in the poaching liquid. Refrigerate the fruit in the liquid in a sealed container until ready to serve. (The fruit will keep for four to five days, the longer the fruit is stored in the poaching liquid, the fuller the flavour).

6) Pour about half of the poaching liquid into a frying pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook and reduce until the liquid gets syrupy and about the consistency of honey.

7) Meanwhile, whip the cream together with the sugar and cardamom until the cream just holds soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, place a pear in each bowl or plate. Drizzle with the reduced Riesling syrup and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

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