Poached Pears Filled with Cranberry Sauce
For a sophisticated touch, serve these juicy poached pears alongside your holiday turkey. The cranberry sauce can be used alone, if desired.
- 2 lemons
- 4 firm Bosc pears
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 twelve-ounce bag fresh cranberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 4 kumquats, stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise, and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Cut lemons in half, squeeze juice into a medium bowl half filled with cold water, and add squeezed lemon halves to bowl. Peel pears as carefully and smoothly as possible, leaving stems attached. Place pears in lemon (acidulated) water as you peel them.
In a large saucepan, combine wine, 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer. Remove pears and 2 of the squeezed lemon halves from water, and add to the saucepan. Keep pears submerged in liquid by placing a lid slightly smaller than the pan, a damp piece of cheesecloth, or a clean dish towel over them. Simmer until pears are tender and translucent, 10 to 30 minutes, depending on ripeness.
Remove from heat, and let pears cool in poaching liquid. Refrigerate when cool. (Pears can be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance.)
In a medium saucepan, combine fresh cranberries, kumquats, 1 cup water, and the remaining 1 cup sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and let cranberries simmer gently until skins burst and mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in dried cranberries. Remove from heat, cool completely, and refrigerate. (Cranberry sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.)
Remove pears from poaching liquid with a slotted spoon, and cut in half lengthwise. Drain on paper towels. Using a melon baller or small spoon, carefully scoop out seeds and a little of the surrounding flesh to create a small, round cavity in each pear half. When ready to serve, fill each cavity with 1 to 2 tablespoons chilled cranberry sauce. Serve extra cranberry sauce on the side.