We’ve had this bottle of E&J Brandy around the house for a couple of weeks now and every so often we get an itch under our skin to burn through whatever is left of the bottle. This week’s it’s Brandy-poached Pears. Just as a fruit, pears are delicious and immediately evoke an odd sense of opulence. I used Bosc pears for this recipe, a european variety of pear you can commonly find this time of year.
It’s finally starting to get cold and I’m embracing all things holiday. I’ve started building up the spruce and holly berries on the mantle. I am determined to go all out this holiday season. Most times I get caught up in work or the like too much to really participate. This year is different. I’ve always loved the smells of fresh greenery this time of year. My mother has always hung garland around the house and I carry on the same tradition. Half the fun, I’ve found, is foraging for items to decorate with. From pine cones to branches from the holly tree in our side yard, nothing is safe from my grasp. This year will be the best yet, if I have anything to say about it.
Outside of the decorations, I’m starting to get into full-swing baking. The desserts served around this time of year are my all time favorite. It was a huge tradition in my house growing up and I have some of my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes to delve into this year. Keep a lookout for a slew of holiday pastries brightening up your life in the coming weeks. Now, back to those poached pears…
What you’ll need:
- 6 Bosc pears
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brandy (dealer’s choice)
- 1 1/2 cup Chardonnay (or other white wine)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 pods star anise
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp honey
Peel the pears with a vegetable peeler, making sure to leave the stem on. Cut the pears in half lengthwise, including the stems, and use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds. Discard the seeds and put aside. Using your vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of the lemon, making sure to form long strips. Place the lemon aside for another use, if needed.
In a medium saucepan, bring your brandy, wine, brown sugar, vanilla extract, honey, lemon peel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and water to a boil. Continue to boil to cook off the excess alcohol, roughly five minutes or so.
Reduce your heat to a simmer and gently place your pears in the poaching liquid. Stirring every 15 minutes, poach the pears for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The pears should be soft, but not mealy and overcooked. The best way to figure this out is to pierce the pear with a paring knife. You”ll know it’s done when it comes out easily.
Take your saucepan off the heat and remove the pears from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon. Place them on a plate in the fridge until cool. To store, place in an airtight container and cover with the remaining poaching liquid. These will keep in your fridge for about a week. You can serve the cool or at room temperature. The choice is yours. I served mine with my French Almond Cake and found that to be a winning pear. I’ll link the recipe here. You really should give it a try. Both of these recipes are incredibly easy and compliment each other so well.
As always, thank you for the encouragement and kind words. They mean the world to me. If you have any holiday recipes or traditions you’d like to share, click the about link or find me on Instagram (@_tiny_foodie_). I love trying new and different recipes! That’s half of the fun for me and you can never have too many delicious recipes under your belt. This is from my heart to your table. Happy Holidays. ♥