By Mackenzie Taylor
Note: You must let pears cool overnight! If you are planning this for a dinner tonight, go back to the store and buy a pie. This may or may not be difficult for you depending whether or not you own a useful little tool called a ‘melon baller.’ Yes, I know, sounds complicated, it is normally used for balling melons…keep your mind on the food. If you do not own a melon baller, do not attempt this recipe. Just warning you.
Before you peel your not quite ripe pears:
With a melon baller (see I told you) scoop out the core of the pear starting from the bottom and working your way up to the middle of the pear one scoop at a time. This will not work with a spoon or an ice cream scoop! You will not have any pear left when you are finished scooping! Only scoop out the core.
After you’ve got them all scooped (How many you ask? Don’t ask me, ask your wife how many people she’s invited to dinner) you can commence peeling the pears. If your pears have stems on them, do not remove, but peel around the stems, it looks pretty on the finished product and gives your guests a handhold. Trust me.
In a large pot, combine one bottle of Riesling or Gewürztraminer with one bottle of pinot noir (both from the Alsace region of course).
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
A few whole cloves
Bring to a gentle boil and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let cool in the liquid for two hours, then refrigerate overnight in the liquid.
Okay, it’s tomorrow! Remove pears from liquid, place hole side down in a container and put back in fridge. Put liquid back on stove (in a heavy-bottomed pot) and reduce until thick like syrup, but not burned. It should take about an hour or so at a rolling boil. Let cool!
In a chilled bowl (you have one in your freezer, of course) add:
1 cup whipping cream
2 egg whites
¼ cup confectioner sugar
2 tbsp of your favourite jelly or jam (I use red currant)
Whisk like mad until stiff. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the bottom of your pears. You are now ready to plate! (You also now know why I prefer the eating of desserts to the making of desserts!)
In a fancy square bowl (one per person) add:
Sweet wine syrup in the bottom (about an ounce or so)
Then your stuffed Alsacien Pear
A scoop of real vanilla ice cream
Sprig of mint
Give your guests a spoon and tell them to hold the stem and scoop downwards. (See, I told you the stem would come in handy.)