Red Wine Poached Pears with Triple Cream Cheese
1 ½ cups St. Francis Zinfandel, Sonoma County
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
1, 3 x 3/4 inch strip lemon peel (yellow part only)
1 whole clove
2 firm but ripe medium-size pears (such as Bosc, Bartlett, or D’Anjou), peeled, stems left attached, halved lengthwise, and cored
8 ounces triple-crème cheese (such as Explorateur, Saint André, boursault or Brillat-Savarin), cut into 4 wedges*
- Combine wine, sugar, orange juice, lemon peel, and clove in a heavy medium saucepan.
- Bring to simmer over medium heat, once sugar dissolves, add pear halves to saucepan. Cut out a round of parchment paper the same size as the saucepan.
- Place parchment round atop pears, pushing edges of parchment into the liquid to prevent edges from curling up.
- Reduce heat and barely simmer until pears are tender when pierced with a knife, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer pears to a bowl. Boil liquid in saucepan until slightly syrupy and reduced to ¾ cup, about 14 minutes.
- Cool syrup to room temperature and pour over the pears. Cover and chill for at least 12 hours, turning pears occasionally.
- Thinly slice pear halves lengthwise almost to stem end, leaving stems attached.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon pear syrup onto each of the 4 plates. Top each with 1 pear half, pressing gently to fan. Serve with cheese.
*If none of the above cheeses are available a mild bleu cheese can be used as an alternative.