4 large pears, peeled (Williams, Bosc, Anjou or Bartlett)
750 ml MacLeod Merlot
3/4 cup port
250g caster sugar (super fine sugar, grind granulated suger in food processer if necessary)
1 vanilla pod (can substitute 1 Tbl vanilla extract)
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
Peel of one orange
Peel of one lemon
3 lemons (for zest)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
4 extra large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Select firm, ripe pears, (you may have to ripen the pears on the kitchen counter a bit).
In a large saucepan, add about 1/3rd of wine, sugar, port spices, bay leaves and citrus peels.
Warm over low heat with out boiling, cover with foil and allow to infuse flavors for about 10-15 minutes
Add remaining wine and bring to simmer.
Add peeled pears and poach over gentle heat, covered with lid for 20-30 minutes (time will vary by ripeness or texture of pears.
Pears are done when a toothpick can easily pierce through to center of pears
When done remove pears to a plate to cool
Boil poaching liquid unitl reduced by about 3/4 volume.
Cool syrup and pears, then chill in refrigerator.
Lemon Curd Directions:
Zest 3 lemons, being careful to avoid white pith
Put zest in food processor, add sugar, pulse until zest and sugar are well combined
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and beat in the zest sugar mixture
Add eggs, one at a time and mix until mixture is well combined
Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly.
Mixture will thicken just below simmering, or about 170F
Cool and chill in refrigerator.
Slice a thin piece off the base of each pear so they will stand on plate. Drizzle reduced syrup over top and add a scoop of lemon curd. Garnish with chocolate shavings or small chocolate candies.
We found the whole pear a lot of food for desert. We also could not get enough of the syrup and lemon curd!. Suggest serving a 1/2 pear over a piece of pound cake to soak up syrup and compliment the lemon curd.