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Author Notes: I whipped this recipe together for a last minute dinner party. Easy, pretty, tasty and low effort; it makes use of readily-available things and simple techniques. I made a quick, bracingly tart lemon syrup to go with, but it is optional. —Clair Gu
- 2 cups chardonnay
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 8 dried apricots
- 8 dried figs
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 2 strips of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 firm-fleshed pears
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachio kernels, finely chopped
- Combine all ingredients up to pears in a shallow sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the figs and apricots are soft. Strain them out and set aside. Turn the heat down to low.
- Neatly peel, halve, and core the pears, removing the top and bottom stems if you prefer. Nestle the pears gently into the poaching liquid and poach at low heat for ~20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork but not falling apart. Gently remove from the poaching liquid and set both pears and poaching liquid aside to cool.
- Finely dice the reserved apricots and figs and set aside.
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, ultra-fine
- Pour the cream into a medium sized mixing bowl or stand mixer. Whip at high speed until thickened and very creamy, but not yet holding peaks. Fold in other ingredients.
- On a plate of your choosing, spoon a pool of cream onto each plate. Add a small quenelle of diced dried fruit to the outside edge of the plate—cover with a pear, seed cavity covering the fruit. Spoon 2 tablespoons of poaching liquid over the pear. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dried Fruit