Dinner Party

Pear Confit With Cardamom Crème Fraîche

December 16, 2021
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Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.
Author Notes

Infuse your home with the warm aroma of spices like clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon with this easy yet elegant dessert. Much like making a mulled beverage, this pear confit recipe calls for a bottle of wine, lots of flavorful spices, sugar, and citrus to slowly soak and cook the pears until soft and tender.

For best results, use hearty and sturdy pears like Bosc, which hold their shape while cooking down; if you can’t get your hands on this variety, Anjou or Bartlett pears work well, too. Additionally, you can easily substitute the bottle of rosé this recipe calls for with what you already may have at home. Some good options include white wines like a Riesling, Moscato, or Pinot Grigio or red wines like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, which impart a photo-worthy pink hue.

Also, as the pears confit in the cooking liquid, they may bob around or float to the top. To help them cook more evenly, create a parchment paper lid (aka a cartouche) to keep them fully submerged for maximum flavor absorption.

To confit the pears in the liquid, you’ll want to use a pot or pan with deeper, straight walls—like All-Clad’s D3® Stainless 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid—that retains heat well and distributes it evenly. When ready to serve, add a spoonful of cardamom-infused whipped crème fraîche for a creamy and light sweet treat perfect for the holidays.
Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with All-Clad, and was developed using their D3® Stainless 3-Quart Sauté Pan with Lid. —The Editors

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • For the pear confit:
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle rosé wine
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 (2-inch) strips orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • 2 (1-inch) pieces ginger, peeled
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled with stems on
  • For the crème fraîche:
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean cut lengthwise (seeds only)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (213 grams) crème fraîche
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the pear confit:
  2. In a large pot or a deep sauté pan, combine wine, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add orange juice, orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, vanilla bean, and salt and stir to combine. Add the lemon juice, and place the leftover rinds in the mixture.
  3. When the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Meanwhile, carefully peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Add the pears to the liquid and cover with a parchment “lid” or cartouche.
  5. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the pears are tender but not mushy. Once cooked, remove the pears from the liquid. Set aside to cool.
  6. Over medium to medium-high heat, reduce the confit liquid by half, about 25 minutes. Take the pan off the heat to cool slightly.
  7. Keep the pears in the confit liquid until ready to serve.
  1. For the crème fraîche:
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the cardamom, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and salt. Grind the mixture until the sugar becomes fine, like powdery sand.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar mixture with the crème fraîche, and whisk to aerate the cream. Store in the refrigerator until ready to consume.
  4. When ready to assemble the dessert, add a dollop of the whipped crème fraîche, place the pear overtop, and finish with a dusting of cinnamon. The pears can be served warm or hot, and the crème fraîche served cold.

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