Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm coming into port!

I noticed that several of the Texas wineries make nice Ports and I'm not sure many people notice them. I discovered Port when I took a chocolate and port pairing class with Mary Cech (The Wine Lover's Dessert Cookbook). What a class! But that's another story...

Anyway, pears and port make a fast, sophisticated dessert when you want to treat yourself or someone special. My favorite recipe comes from Bon Appetit:
1/4 c. lemon juice
8 large, firm but ripe pears
4 c. ruby port
2 c. sugar
15 1/8"slices ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split

Add lemon juice to bowl of cold water. Peel pears, leaving stems and remove core with melon baller through the bottom. Add pears to bowl of water.

Bring port, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, & vanilla bean to boil in heavy Dutch oven over high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer syrup 10 minutes.

Drain pears & add to syrup. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pears & stand them upright. Boil syrup until reduced to 1-1/4 c. Pour over pears & chill. Got a little extra time? Serve with gingerbread and whipped cream!

Quick Version (from French Women Don't Get Fat).........
Bring 2 c. port & 1/2 c. sugar to a boil. Lower heat & simmer 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp lemon jiuce and 4 pears (peeled, cored, halved) Cook 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Cool & refrigerate. Ice cream?

Even if you don't drink port this is a great way to try those Texas ports!

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