Author Notes: The poaching liquid reduces down into an amazing glaze to be drizzled over the pears along with the chocolate sauce. I like using Laphroaig (a super-peaty Islay Single Malt Whisky) in the poaching liquid to impart a unique and unexpected flavor to this dessert, but a sweeter American Whiskey or Bourbon works equally well (Bourbon of course being a traditional pairing with maple syrup).
This is a great dessert for a dinner party since the pears can be prepared well an advance and the chocolate sauce takes literally seconds to prepare. A scoop of vanilla ice-cream or some whipped cream certainly isn't necessary, but of course wouldn't hurt. - AShaps
Whisky-Maple Poached Pears
- 3/4 cups Maple Syrup
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Whisky or Bourbon (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 Pears (Bartlett recommended)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel, halve and core the pears.
- In an oven-proof saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, cut-side down, combine the maple syrup and 3 tbsp butters over medium heat, whisking to combine. Once the butter is melted add the whisky and simmer until the alcohol is mostly cooked out (3-5 minutes). Add vanilla extract. Add pears to the pan cut-side down and saute 5 minutes (reduce heat if liquid is boiling to rapidly and reducing).
- Transfer pears to oven for 10-15 minutes depending on size of pears. Remove once cook through and softened, but still firm.
- Remove pears from pan and set aside. Return pan to stove, and over medium low heat whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp butter to thicken the poaching liquid--it should take on a soft caramel-like consistency. Serve pears drizzled with the poaching liquid and chocolate sauce.
- 4 ounces Chocolate (bittersweet recommended)
- 1/3 cup Heavy Cream
- Chop the chocolate finely. Combine in microwave safe container with the cream and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove and whisk to combine. Add more cream if necessary for a pourable consistency.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Maple Recipe