Recipe of the Week


Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 6 Servings

There are many pears on the market that are perfect for poaching such as Bartletts, Boscs and Kiefers. In Bayou Country, the wild pears are plentiful in mid-August and are usually sliced, cooked and jarred for later use as a dessert topping or pie filling. However, poaching them in sweetened red wine should not be taken for granted.

Ingredients for Poaching:
6 firm cooking pears
1 cup water
3 cups red wine
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup lemon juice
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Method for Poaching:
Using a paring knife, peel, core and cut pears in half. NOTE: Submerge pears in a bowl of water with 1–2 tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, combine water, wine and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Reduce heat just below simmer and add pears. Place a small plate over pears to keep them submerged in liquid for even poaching. Cook 30–45 minutes or until pears are tender, but not mushy. Remove pot from heat. Allow pears to rest in poaching liquid, preferably overnight, so color and flavor of liquid will be absorbed.

Ingredients for Crust:
1⅓ cups flour
¼ pound chipped cold butter
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup ice water

Method For Crust:
In a food processor equipped with a metal blade, combine flour, butter and sugar. Pulse 1 minute or until mixture reaches texture of coarse meal. Slowly pour in water while pulsing until dough forms into a ball. Remove and place on a floured surface. Roll dough into a circle approximately ⅛-inch thick. Firmly press into a 9-inch pie or tart pan and set aside.

Ingredients for Filling:
6 poached pears
2 tbsps sugar
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
¼ cup pure vanilla extract
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
¼ cup powdered sugar

Method for Filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp paring knife, slice pears into ¼-inch slices. In a large mixing bowl, toss pears with 2 tablespoons sugar. Arrange slices neatly around dough until all have been used. Place pie on bottom oven rack and bake approximately 20 minutes to render juices from fruit. While pie is baking, combine cream, eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. When piecrust is done, remove from oven and pour cream mixture evenly over baked pears. Return to oven and cook 20 minutes or until custard is set. Remove from oven and dust generously with powdered sugar. This pie may also be made with apples or plums.




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