I can never seem to get enough of Perla Meyers’ recipes. Scroll down to find yesterday’s savory tart with cabbage and bacon. Today is a beautiful dessert of poached pears in an orange sauce. Both of the recipes are wonderful for the cold weather months.
Poached Pears in Orange Sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Water, to cover pears
6 large pears, Bosc or Bartlett, of uniform ripeness
6 cups water
1-1/2 cups plus 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean
1 (3-inch) piece cinnamon stick
Zest of 2 oranges, cut into 1/8-inch julienne
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup fresh orange juice, strained; divided use
1 cup red currant jelly
1/2 cup Cointreau
2 Tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Stir lemon juice into large bowl of cold water, enough to cover pears. Peel the pears and immediately add to lemon water.
2. Combine the 6 cups water, 1-1/2 cups sugar, the vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick in small Dutch oven; heat to boiling. Remove pears from lemon water (discard water) and add to boiling water. Reduce heat to low and simmer pears until tender, about 20 minutes. Gently transfer pears and liquid to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, blanch the julienned orange zest in some boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Mix the cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of the orange juice; set aside.
4. Melt jelly over low heat in medium saucepan until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining orange juice. Taste and add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, if needed; heat until sugar dissolves. Heat mixture to boiling; cook, whisking frequently, until sauce is reduced to 1 cup. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in reserved cornstarch mixture; cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens and bubbles for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in Cointreau and cognac; simmer 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in ground cinnamon and reserved orange zest. Refrigerate, covered, until cool but not cold.
5. To serve, remove pears from poaching liquid; gently pat dry. Place on individual serving plates. Spoon orange sauce over pears and serve. Serves 6.