Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Pears Poached in Wine

Hello young lovers, wherever you are........I hope your troubles are few.....

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)


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.


Emily said...

I'm glad your parents were so happy together!

These pears are beautiful, and perfect for the holiday.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Toni, what a beautiful and moving post. Your parents were really lucky to have each other, and to have you too!

The pears look delish!

glamah16 said...

Poached pears and wine are one of my favorites.

Toni said...

Emiline - So am I! Thanks!

Patricia - Yes, they were lucky, and all 4 of us (my brothers and sister) always tell each other how lucky we are!

Glamah - I'm with you on that one!

Susan G said...

Thank you for the sweet memories. Today was my mother's birthday (94) and my father delighted in playing the Valentine's theme. We are so fortunate to have grown up in families with loving parents.

Unknown said...

Susan - Yes indeed! And you are lucky to still have your parents.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

What a lovely post, and a lovely dessert. Your parents were certainly role models for marriage -- we should all remember to inject a little romance every day.

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MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Toni I love wine poached pears. Why I haven't thought of them as a classic red valentine food is beyond me, they will be from now on.
I wish I had a trick to share on how to get a heart in your coffee froth but it was just serendipity and I couldn't duplicate if I tried.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is so delicious and refreshing! Poached pears are perfect for Hearts day because they kinda look like hearts! We actually wait till the 15th to celebrate cuz it's our 12th year anniversary!!!

Toni said...

Lydia - Yes, injecting a little romance every day certainly makes a marriage special. And yes, they were role models for a marriage, for sure!

Tanna - I can picture you idly doodling in your froth with a spoon, and then - voila! A heart!

W.O.R.C. - Happy Anniversary! Hope you share a special recipe with us for your favorite food!

Stella said...

Your post is very sweet. Happy Valentine's day especially to your parents:)

Rachael Narins said...

So much love, those parents of yours. Just SO much. I miss them.

Toni said...

Valentina - Thanks!

Rachael - So do I!

Tiina said...

Just found your blog! The pears look lovely! It's the perfect dessert for a dinner on a cold February weekend. I will definitely want to try this.

Anonymous said...

Hey Toni...

This looks so healthy. I love your diet..If only I could! LOL.

You see i like things like plantain!!

love the pears :)

ks said...

The pears look delicious.

And the song is from The King and I, which is my mom's favorite musical and which I've seen many, many times.

Susan said...

Poached pears are one of those elegant dessert recipes that never, ever fail. What a loving tribute to your dear mother and father.