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Author Notes: I’ve tasted versions of this in various places, and honestly I can't remember where the first place was but basically it gets down to pears poached in Chianti wine. There is sugar in there too. I like to use a high proof, clear pear eau de vie like Poire William or else grappa for the fireworks part of the show. I like setting stuff on fire. A true Poire William is expensive so a bit of a splurge just for this recipe, but of course you can drink the rest by itself. This is an easy dessert but a rewarding one. —pierino
4 bartlet or comice pears or even quince; peeled, cored and halved
1 bottle chianti wine
½ cup sugar
2 shots poire William or else another eau de vie or grappa
2 tablespoons butter
Creamy gorgonzola dolce cheese* (enough for four servings)
- In a sauce pan bring the chianti to a slow boil, add the sugar and whisk while it dissolves. Allow it to reduce by about one third and then hold at a slow simmer
- In a wide pan melt the butter over medium heat, allow it to almost brown
- Add the peeled pear halves and allow them to caramelize for just a minute or so
- Add the liqueur (please don’t pour from the bottle), ignite, stand back and wait for fire to go out
- Slowly drizzle in the chianti mixture into the pan containing pears and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a fork. The sauce should be syrupy.
- Plate up with the gorgonzola on the edge of the plate or center it in the pears. I don't care
- *Note to cook; while gorgonzola pairs (pun) up well here, I think a nice tallegio would be just as satisfying
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pears