I don't remember all the words. I think it was from "South Pacific", or some other musical, dating from way back. Anyway, it started running through my mind for some reason. Not a modern love song, but an older one. And so when it came time to take the photo of these pears I had poached, I took out one of my mom's dishes. She and my dad had a 60 year honeymoon. Every day was Valentine's day for them. And yesterday would have been her 98th birthday.
So I dedicate this recipe to my mom and dad. Two soul mates who were lucky enough to have found each other.
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
4 firm but ripe pears, peeled, stems left intact
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 plain or almond biscotti, crumbled
Orange peel strips (optional)
Preparation:Combine first 7 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer. Add pears and return mixture to simmer. Reduce heat and simmer slowly until pears are tender when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes. Transfer pears to plate. Boil liquid in saucepan until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill pears in poaching liquid. Before serving, rewarm over medium-low heat until pears are heated through.)
Arrange 1 warm pear and 1 scoop of ice cream on each of 4 plates. Drizzle some poaching liquid over. Sprinkle with biscotti crumbs. Garnish with orange peel strips, if desired, and serve.
Kitchen Notes: I obviously skipped the ice cream and biscotti. Well, actually, I didn't skip the biscotti. I just ate them all before I took the photo.