Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scarlet Poached Pears

serves 6

2 cups Orange Muscat such as Essencia (from a 750-ml bottle)
1 medium red beet (1/4 pound), peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon juice
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3 small firm-ripe pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored

Bring wine, beet, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and bay leaves to a boil in a 1 1/2- to 2-quarts saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

Add pears and cover with a round of parchment paper. Simmer, turning occasionally, until pears are tender and liquid is syrupy, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pears to a bowl. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaves and pour syrup over pears. Cool completely in syrup, about 30 minutes.

Poached pears can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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