Port-Poached Pears with Ricotta Cheese
Poached pears is a choice dessert menu item that I’ve always wanted to attempt at home. The variations are endless for this treat, and when searching for recipes online I found one on the California Milk Advisory Board’s Web site that particularly caught my eye: Port-Poached Pears and Ricotta. Pears, a port reduction sauce AND ricotta cheese? Sold!
The Web site also had an intriguing recipe for Baked Pears and Crème Fraiche, which I printed for my “to-try soon” pile…
I don’t have a corer at home, so I halved the pears for poaching, which turned out to be a great alternative. The key was finding pears that were ripe, but not soft. The recipe was surprisingly easy, and one I’ll definitely be recreating.
1 cup California Ricotta cheese
2 pears, such as Anjou or Bosc, peeled and cored
2 cups Port wine
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
Place pears, Port and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, turning pears occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let pears cool in poaching liquid. Remove pears from liquid. Cut a small slice about 1/4 inch thick from the rounded bottom of the pear so it will sit upright on the plate. Set aside. Place poaching liquid over medium-high heat and cook until it becomes thick and syrupy. Set aside and let cool. Cut each pear in half vertically.
For each serving drizzle some of the reduced poaching liquid over an individual serving plate. Place one pear half on plate. Fill the pear cavity with 1/4 cup cheese. Reserve remaining poaching liquid for another use.