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Pears In Sauterne
1 2/3 cup sauterne or other semi-dry white wine
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 strips lemon zest 1 inch by 1/2 inch
1 bay leaf
1 vanilla bean
4 bartlett pears
1. Pour sauterne into a soaked 3-quart clay pot or a Dutch oven. Add the sugar, lemon zest and bay leaf
2. Place vanilla bean on a work surface. With the tip of a small sharp knife, slit bean lengthwise. With the knife, scrape out the seeds; add them to the clay pot. Seeds may cling together.
3. Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using a melon baller, core pears by scooping out from the bottom.
4. Stand pears in the clay pot. Cover pot and place it in a cold oven. Set oven to 425°F and bake until the pears are soft when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes.
5. Place pears on 4 dessert plates. Pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until the liquid is slightly syrupy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Spoon over the pears and serve.
Makes 4 servings. Preparation time: About 20 to 25 minutes. Cooking time: About 35 to 38 minutes.