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 This Recipe
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
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.