Sweet & Easy: Pears Poached with Rosemary and Chestnut Whipped Cream

pear

Simple, homey desserts become sublime with the addition of herbs.

Photo by Dawna Edwards

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My friend Carolyn Dille and I developed this elegant dessert when we owned and operated a catering business. Pears Poached with Rosemary and Chestnut Whipped Cream is one of my favorites and is definitely a grown-up dessert. SERVES 6 TO 8

• 6 to 8 firm, ripe pears (Bosc or D’anjou are good varieties)
• About 3/4 to 1 bottle full-bodied red wine
• 1 cup port wine
• 2 to 3 pieces lemon peel
• Two 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
• 1⁄3 cup sugar

1. Peel pears, leaving the stems on. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a stainless or enamel pan large enough to hold pears comfortably. The pan should be deep enough so that the wine covers at least 2/3 of the pears when they are standing.

2. Bring the wine—no pears—to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add pears and poach for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally so they color evenly, until they are tender but firm. Remove from liquid and cool on a platter. Remove rosemary sprigs, reduce poaching liquid by half and cool to room temperature. Serve pears with the liquid and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, if desired.


Susan Belsinger is the author of Not Just Desserts: Sweet Herbal Recipes (Paul’s Printing, 2005). 

Click here for the main article, Sweet & Easy Desserts with Herbs.