Pears Poached In Port With Stilton Cream
|Ripe pears||2 Large (Anjou or Bartlett variety)|
|Port||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Lemon||1 , zest minced|
|Sugar||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|For cheese topping|
|Stilton cheese/Other blue veined cheese, such as gorgonzola||2 Ounce, softened|
|Heavy cream||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), chilled|
|Pecan halves||4 (for garnish)|
Poach the pears with a sharp paring knife, peel the pears, cut them in half, and carefully remove the core.
A melon bailer works well to remove the center part.
Cut off a small slice from the back of each pear half so they do not rock.
In a large nonaluminum skillet, combine the port, water, lemon, cinnamon stick, and sugar.
Place the pears flat side down and slowly bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat so that the liquid is barely simmering, cover the pan, and let the pears poach for about 15 minutes, or until just tender.
Turn them with a wooden spoon after about 8 minutes.
Once they are tender, turn off the heat and let the pears cool in the liquid for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pears to a wide bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Bring the poaching liquid to a slow boil and let it reduce for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until it thickly coats the back of a spoon.
Strain the poaching liquid over the pears, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour until chilled.
These pears may be poached 1 to 2 days ahead of time.
They become darker the longer they are left in the port.
Prep able the cheese topping once the pears are cool, mash the cheese until quite smooth.
Add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth and thick.
Do not overheat.
Transfer the cheese mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a wide star tip, and pipe a swirl onto each pear half.
Place a pecan half on top, if desired.