I was watching Anne Burrell on the Food Network the other day. Now don’t get me wrong, the girl can cook, but, my G-d! she sounds like she is in a hot and heavy relationship with food! If you’ve ever watched her, you know EXACTLY what I mean (hello, darling!)! But the food looks good, I’ve got to hand it to her. I was really inspired by the beautiful poached pears she made for dessert. The ruby color, offset by the mascarpone cheese was just gorgeous. So I decided to make it for dessert for Shabbat dinner this past week, and it was a real hit. While her recipe gave me the goods I needed to learn to make poached pears, I did not follow it, and came up with my own version instead.
6 Bosc pears, peeled (see note)
1 bottle dry red wine, such as Merlot
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 strips of lemon zest (use big strips for easy removal)
juice of 1 lemon
Angel Flake sweetened coconut, toasted
In a large saucepan combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the pears and simmer until the pears are cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool in the poaching liquid.
Before serving, remove the pears from their poaching liquid. Simmer the liquid until reduced by half and slightly thickened. (Discard the lemon zest and cinammon sticks).
Arrange a few pear quarters on the plate. Top it with a scoop of coconut sorbet. Spinkle with toasted coconut flakes and drizzle with reduced poaching liquid.
To toast coconut in the oven, spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly.
NOTE: For a striking presentation, serve the pears whole with the stem intact. You will need to cook them in batches (so that they can be completely submerged in the wine), otherwise, you can cut them in quarters, as pictured.