posted by descher 10-31-98 3:13 PM
Pastry-Wrapped Pears in Port Wine
3 cups (660g-23 oz) Caster Sugar
3 cups (750ml-25 fl oz) Water
1/2 cup (125ml-4.2 oz) good Port
2 cinnamon sticks
4 large (1.3kg-3 lb) Pears, peeled, leave stem in.
4 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine sugar, water, port and cinnamon in large pan; stir over heat without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring, about 30 minutes, or until syrup thickens slightly.
Add Pears (they should be a neat fit in the pan), simmer, covered, about 20 mins, or until pears are just tender. Cool pears in syrup. Lift pears carefully from syrup. Drain on absorbent paper; reserve syrup. Trim pears so they sit upright.
Cut a 22cm (8 1/2") circle from each sheet of pastry. Place pear in centre of each pastry circle, draw edges together, fold excess pastry around pear leaving stem and small section of pear exposed. Brush lightly with egg, place on a greased oven tray. Bake in moderate (180-190 C, 350-375 F) about 40 mins., or until golden. Serve pears hot with cream or ice-cream, and some of the reserved (strained) syrup. Absabloominlutely beautiful.
*NOTE: The syrup is delicious and can be made separately and can be stored indefinitely in the fridge for use as a topping for ice-cream or other desserts. Just follow the instructions at the beginning of the recipe (in capital letters)
For flavour, I usually add a pear cut in 1/4s and then throw it out later (after nibbling for taste purposes, of course.) The longer it simmers and thickens, the better. I usually make 3 or 4 times the above quantity, and , of course the proportion of port can be altered to suit your taste but do it gradually. Seriously, with a jar of this syrup in the fridge, it is amazing how you can jazz-up an otherwise 'plain' dessert.
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