Friday, September 21, 2007
Looks Like Chicken
That's what my husband said when I pulled this dish out of the oven ... not quite the aim of this dessert, ugh.
No, it's not a plate of chicken but pears baked with a homemade grape/wine syrup.
Pears are one of my favourite fruits. They are rock hard in the grocery store, but with some patience and time, they ripen beautifully into juicy tasty treats. My children will gobble the pears like candy when they are perfectly ripe but they refuse to take them on their lunch. It isn't appetizing to reach into a lunch bag and extract a sweet slimy mass of crushed pear.
Although the perfectly ripe pear is a treat itself, I prefer baking with the rock hard pears. They absorb flavours beautifully over a long cooking time. I baked these pears in a grape and red wine syrup with lemon and cinnamon. The intense flavour jumped in your mouth.
The grapes for the syrup were off of our vine and I practically wrestled them out of the greedy paws of the raccoons. As a result, I harvested them earlier than I would have preferred and the grapes needed a big bump of sugar to render the syrup palatable.
Baked Pears with Grape Syrup
Pere al Forno con Sapa
2 rock hard bosc pears, peeled, cored and quartered (you know, so they look like chicken drumsticks)
juice of 2 lemons
grated zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 recipe Fresh Grape Syrup
Put lemon juice in plastic bag and place pear quarters inside. The lemon juice will protect them from browning. When you remove the pears to place them in the pan don't pour the extra juice into the pan... too much pucker.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 9x13 dish. Arrange the pears spoon fashion in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and lemon zest.
Bake the pears four about one hour. Baste every 20 minutes with Fresh Grape Syrup. When the pears are easily pierced with a knife, remove them from the oven.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Fresh Grape Syrup
4&1/2 pounds red flavourful grapes, with or without seeds
1 cup dry red wine
Sugar, if you suffer from sour grapes
Wash, stem and process grapes until finely chopped. Place crushed grapes into a glass or stainless steel container. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours. Strain the grapes through a sieve and press out as much liquid as possible. Boil the grapes uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes until thickened or reduced. It will foam with large bubbles. Blend in wine and boil 1 minute (to boil off the alcohol).
You can bottle and keep the syrup in the freezer.
The original and detailed recipes are from the fabulous recipe book The Splendid Table by Lynn Rosetto Kasper
FYI It didn't taste like chicken either.