Wine-poached pears have never been on my radar. They seemed too simple a dessert to order from a restaurant, but I think my lack of experience with this dish has more to do with the fact that I didn’t really love pears until I was an adult.
In tomorrow’s food section, you can read all about how I stumbled upon a poached pear sorbet at Prohibition Creamery and how it inspired me to try to make it at home. During the process of poaching those pears, I ended up with extra poaching liquid and extra pureed pears. Some of that went into my morning smoothies, but it also flavored my most recent batch of kombucha.
And let me tell you, that kombucha is divine.
In that print story this week, I chatted with Prohibition Creamery’s Max Sage about other ways you could use those gently poached pears or the liquid gold that’s leftover.
He uses it in a caramelized pear daiquiri at the ice cream shop, but he says he could imagine cooking it down until it’s thicker and more unctuous and then using it in a salad dressing, glaze or marinade. Of course, you could just drizzle that pear-wine reduction (or even leftover pureed pears) over regular old ice cream, making an entirely new boozy treat to keep your spirits up this winter.
Here’s the base recipe for those poached pears and the sorbet they make at Prohibition, but I’m interested to hear what else you do with the poached pears or the pear-and-wine infused simple syrup that’s leftover. Leave a note in the comments below or over on Instagram!
MORE: Need a new winter dessert? Try wine-poached pears in sorbet, cocktails
White-Wine Poached Pear Sorbet
2 1/2 lbs. firm, ripe pears
1-2 (750 ml) bottles light-bodied, medium-acid white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
3 2/3 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups water
Juice from 1 fresh-squeezed lemon
Peel, stem and quarter pears. Add one bottle of white wine to a large pot. Add sugar and water and, using a thermometer, bring liquid to below simmering, about 180 degrees.
Add pears to liquid and gently poach for 30 minutes at 180 degrees, or longer depending on their initial ripeness. Remove from heat. Cool pears in their poaching liquid.
Once liquid and pears are cool, strain the pears, reserving the poaching liquid for another use, such as the caramelized pear daiquiri. Puree the pears in a blender with enough poaching liquid to blend easily, approximately 1 1/2 cups poaching liquid. Add lemon juice and an additional cup of white wine, if you are using an extra bottle of wine. (If you’re only using 1 bottle of wine or want a less boozy taste, you can use a cup of water in this last step.) Chill pureed sorbet base for 12 to 24 hours before freezing in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
— Max Sage and Laura Aidan of Prohibition Creamery