Ok. So the bumpy, lumpy spotted specimens pictured aren't really all that pretty. But, here (as in so many instances), the old adage "You can't judge a book by its cover" is true. These Bosc pears may not be beauty queens, but they are quite tasty. (Thanks to my friend Jenny Stubbs for bringing me some fresh off her pear tree.) Bosc pears have a firm, crunchy texture, like apples, and since I don't like that texture (see my earlier apple post here), I decided to cook them. I poached them, adding ginger's subtle spice, and then smothered them in the easiest caramel sauce ever. The result? A simple dessert that hits a symphony of sweet and tart notes and lets the pears' distinct flavor sing. Pure pear-fection!
Poached Pears with Caramel
- 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled, stems left on
Put the wine, cinnamon stick, sugars, lemon juice and ginger in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer, and add the pears. Add additional water if needed to cover the pears. Simmer for about an hour minutes or until the pears are soft but not breaking apart. Put each pear in a shallow bowl and spoon a bit of the poaching liquid on top. Drizzle with caramel sauce and finish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or if you're feeling fancy, a dollop of mascarpone.
Note: If you don't want to use wine and/or if you're serving this to kids (I'm not sure it gets hot enough to burn the alcohol off), use apple juice instead.
I used a super-easy but super-delicious caramel sauce from one of my favorite food blogs: Tracy's Culinary Adventures. You make it in the microwave! Find the recipe on her site, here.