' MacLeod Family Vineyard - Poached Pears in Red Wine and Lemon Curd, Top 3, Merlot Cook Off

Poached Pears in Red Wine and Lemon Curd, Top 3, Merlot Cook Off

Poached Pears in Red Wine and Lemon Curd, Top 3, Merlot Cook Off

Recipe by Lance, Colorado Springs, CO.

At a Glance

Serves: 4-6 Servings



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)

3 cloves

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.

Judges Note:

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.

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