We have been making pears poached in red wine for years for ourselves. It is our default fall dessert. A few years back we tried mashing up the pears in the syrup as a jam but the consistency wasn't right.
What makes this classic French dessert so special is the contrast in textures and flavors. You have the peeled, quartered pears (normally they are whole but we have to fit them in the jar...) with that wonderful granular texture of the pear in the silky smooth orange infused red wine syrup.
For this maiden batch we used organic D'Anjou pears grown here in California. The ones we used are called "juice" since they have blemishes and are not sold for retail. Yes, they are ugly but why discriminate if they are delicious? Then organic California navel oranges we both juiced and zested, California Cabernet Sauvignon wine and a touch of holiday spices. Normally we poach 6 pears at most at home. For this batch we did 90 lbs. and boy was peeling, quartering and coring them a chore. And then all the orange zesting. My hands are killing me!
Now I am crazy about pears, but the best part of this is the syrup. It has the essence of orange, pears, red wine and spices.
How to eat it? Well the best way is to serve it chilled straight from the fridge spooned over any type of vanilla based ice cream. You can also serve it with some fresh whipped cream with a touch of brandy in it. It makes a decadent topping for waffles, French toast and pancakes. Stir it in your morning yoghurt for a rare treat few people in the world can experience!
We canned these in two size jars and the ratio of pears to syrup is about 50/50. The good dose of syrup is because you will want so much of it!
We only made 23 big jars and 32 smaller jars. And I am not sure if we will do this again. It was two days of work for a very small amount of product.
These cannot be added to the discount mixed cases.
16 oz jar is $15. Buy some now:
32 oz jar is $30. Buy some now: