Poached Pears with Red Wine

Recipes from 12/23/17 by Chef Michelle Bernstein


4 pears, peeled, sitting in water with juice from 1 lemon
1 bottle red wine
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove

Heat the red wine, water, sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick and clove in a medium pot.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add the pears, making sure they are completely submerged in the wine.  Cover the pears with a sheet of parchment paper with an “X” cut in the center.  Lay a small dish on top of the parchment to keep the pears weighed down.  Simmer the pears in the liquid for 30-40 minutes or until tender to a knife tip but not mushy.  Remove the pears very carefully with a spoon, cool the pears.  Reduce the poaching liquid until it just coats the back of a spoon.  Allow to cool.  Place the pears back in the reduced liquid.
Serve with mascarpone cream, streusel and candied nuts.  

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream 
8 ounces mascarpone
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip the cream with the sugar until it just becomes set, whip in the mascarpone. 
Candied Walnuts 
2 cups walnut pieces 
¾ cups powdered sugar
Oil for frying

Heat a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add a big pinch of salt.  Add the walnuts pieces and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the pecans using a spider or strain the water, reserving the pecans. 

Immediately place into a bowl and add the powdered sugar.  Stir the walnuts and sugar together continuously until the sugar is completely melted, this might take 2-3 minutes. Using a pot with oil heated to 350˚F or a tabletop fryer, fry the pecans until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.  Fry the pecans in small batches as the oil will bubble-up once you add the pecans.  Using a spider remove the pecans and set aside on a sheet tray that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with a Silpat and allow to cool. 

Streusel Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoon unsalted butter 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the butter is pea-sized.  Or use a fork to combine the ingredients together in a bowl until incorporated and the butter is pea size.

Crumble the topping in a flat layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool and crumble or chop into pieces.