Monday, December 1, 2008

Pan-Cooked Pears, With a Marsala Orange Sauce

Hello All! I hope your Thanksgiving was as great as mine. Surprisingly, with the extreme food extravaganza we had going on here, not one person took a picture. Not of the people OR the food! What a travesty.

Luckily, I believe I have enough time and photos to pass on some of our Thanksgiving delectables to you guys. Keep posted, I'll be at it soon.

As for today .... With the colder temperatures and holidays closing in hell-a rapidly, I have another blissfully delicious, warm and somewhat healthy dessert for you all!

Pan-Cooked Marsala Pears are a treat many people have heard of, but never tried. Why is this? They are so easy and utterly to-die-for! In this recipe, you'll find an impossibly easy (really, just try it!) way to create a dessert that feels 4 star (well ... maybe). The addition of a little orange peel completely revitalizes the sauce, so I wouldn't leave it out, but feel free to adjust. Other additions might include cranberries, lemon zest or another strongly flavored fruit. Keep your imagination jumping!

Now, enough stalling. Onward to the recipe!

Pan-Cooked Pears, With a Marsala Orange Sauce
serves 2

What You'll Need:
1 medium saucepan with a lid

2 slightly ripe (Not mushy, but please not rock hard!) pears
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 slices of orange peel, about 2 inches long

Take the pears and cut off the bottoms, so that they will stand straight. Remove the peels from the pears (a potato peeler works well with a firm enough pear). Set aside.

Into the medium saucepan, pour the marsala, water and vanilla. Into this, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in orange peels. Bring this to a slight simmer. Place pears on their sides into the mixture. Cover.

Cook at a slight simmer for 15-25 minutes, turning the pears so that each side gets a chance to pick up the cinnamon and sauce. Finish with the pears sitting on their bottoms. Continue cooking until the pears are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. For firmer pears, this may take up to 30 minutes. When done, remove pears from pan and place on serving plate.

To finish, simmer the marsala sauce until it reduces. Do not let sauce completely caramelize. If
the sauce gets too thick, add water by the tablespoon. Cook until you get a sauce that is the consistency of warmed honey.

Pour this sauce over the top of the pears, and serve.


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