What’s Up Wednesday
What’s up? Well, ya know….just the usual decking the halls and such. I figured that sharing what was up in the kitchen this week could help y’all get extra festive this Christmas. Instead of just going for the usual cookies and pies, I love to snazz things up a bit with poached pears. They are gorgeously elegant, gluten free and can easily be prepared dairy free, as well. Basically, this dish will please most of your guests with ease.
Besides, who can resist a ruby-red gem for dessert?
I love to use the anjou pears for this recipe because of their classic shape and their long stems.
Port Poached Pears with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
4-5 Anjou pears, peeled with stem remaining intact
1 glass of port wine
1 glass of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups of heavy whipping cream, or coconut cream
3-4 tbls powdered sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Start by peeling your pears and placing them in a medium pot along with the wine and water. I do not care too much about exact proportions here, it is just important that all your pears are completely submerged.Add in the sugar, cinnamon stick and cloves. I do not overload this with sugar, since the port is already sweet. You can easily bypass the sugar altogether, if you want. I just like the texture it gives the syrup in the final product. You will see what I mean….With all the seasoning added, go ahead and place your pot on a medium heat. You will get the magic brew to boil and then let it simmer away for about 20-30 minutes. You want the pears to be fork tender.While the pears are cooking on the stove top, grab your mixer and prepare your whipped cream. If you happen to have a dairy free guest, then you can simply scrape the thick coconut cream from a can and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for an amazing whipped topping. If you are going that direction, then I always love to buy the coconut cream from Trader Joe’s. It is so lusciously thick!If you are going the regular whipped cream direction, it is such a cinch. Truly, there is nothing better than homemade whipped cream and it happens in seconds! The best!!
Add your heavy whipping cream to your mixer, or straight into a bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Whip away until it forms some loose peaks. I like to add my “seasoning” just before it is the perfect whipped cream texture because I want to avoid making a huge vat of butter. (Yes, this can happen, so do not over whip!)When all is said and done, you are going to have a rather addictive bowl of the best whipped cream ever.
My pears are done when I can insert a knife and it feels like butter. Last step is to remove the pears and boil the sauce until it slightly thickens….make sure to watch it though, because it can easily turn to taffy if you cook it too long! (Ummmm, that has actually happened folks! And if you did not burn it, you can fix it by simply adding water and giving a good stir over low heat).Gorgeous and delicious! This beauty can be served warm, cold or room temperature. You basically cannot make this taste bad! It is such a lovely dessert…and who can resist that color!?!
Hope you are having fun in the kitchen this week!