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Poached Pears with Roquefort

from Bistros and Brasseries
by John W. Fischer and Lou Jones of The Culinary Institute of America

Poached Pears with Roquefort

1 1/4 cups full-bodied red wine
1/1 cup sugar
10 tbsp port
4 tbsp red-currant jelly
1 1/4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 strip lemon zest
6 pears, William, Doyonne de Cornice, Bartlett, or Bosc
1 1/4 cups Roquefort cheese

Makes 6 servings

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
Bistros and Brasseries
from Lebhar-Friedman Books


There is nothing timid about this dessert! Pears are a favored fruit in France. Here, gently poached to a brilliant claret in a bold red wine and served in a sauce finished with ruby port and red currant jelly, pears are combined with creamy, salty, and pungent Roquefort cheese for a classic bistro dessert.

1. Boil the first ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Be certain to use a pan large enough to accommodate the pears standing up when you're ready to add them.

2. Peel the pears but leave the stems on. Cut a thin slice from the base of each pear to facilitate standing. Add the pears to the wine. Place them close enough together in the pan to ensure the wine comes up high enough to poach them properly.

3. Simmer the pears for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they're just soft on the outside. Remove them with a slotted spoon and allow them to cool to room temperature.

4. Reduce the cooking liquid (cuisson) over medium heat until it's syrupy. Be careful not to over-reduce because you may caramelize the sugars and have the wrong flavor.

5. Crumble the Roquefort and keep it in the refrigerator.

6. Cut the pears in half lengthways but leave the stalk in place on one side. Remove the core from each half. Thinly slice the pear halves and shingle them on the plate, leaning them against one another. Coat the slices with the reduced sauce and sprinkle them with the Roquefort.

Be careful of testing your pear with the point of a knife because what may be barely visible now will become a gaping wound later, thus affecting your final presentation.

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