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4 bosc pears
750 millilitres bottle Sancerre recommended 2007 Pascal Jolivet or other top SB
2 cups simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part granulated sugar heated gently to dissolve)
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
4 turns of a nutmeg mill or a couple pinches of the ground variety
1/4 lemon peel only
1/4 orange peel only
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper blend
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Medium




During the winter months, I find that pears are some of the best fruits for adorning the dessert table.  It is a tumultuous season for chefs during which strawberries, tomatoes and other soft fruits are gassed with carbon monoxide (somehow acceptable to the FDA).  Effectively, this achieves that lustrous red tone, contradicting the fruits’ complete lack of flavor, a trick the produce lords have used for years to trick consumers.

Alas, another four months will pass before we can get fresh local berries, and while I like stone fruit, sometimes a good bosc pear does the trick in satiating my sweet tooth.
An easy method of preparing a fine pear is by poaching it in a simple syrup dotted with fresh clove, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, citrus peel and a touch of Sancerre, the famous sauvignon blanc from Western France’s Loire Valley.

Of course, any sauvignon blanc would work, as long as it has that notably crisp finish and the ‘Jolly Roger’ green apple flavor.  Combined with the headiness of a fresh and firm pear, you will end up with the perfect way to finish the meal.

I sometimes serve this alongside aged Irish cheddar or a sharp bleu cheese (Roaring 40’s or Roquefort) and a berry puree (should you be forethoughtful enough to freeze some berries at the end of summer as were we).

If you decide to prepare this, take the time to peel the pear carefully, since presentation is key.  Taking the time with your mise en place will ensure a successful end to this project, and hopefully your meal.  And as we eat it, we can savor every bite, yearning for the very near future when fresh soft fruits and berries will abound once again.

  1. Place the simple syrup, 350 ml ( 12 fl. Oz.) of wine, and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
  2. Meanwhile, peel the pears carefully and, using a melon baller, remove the seeds from the bottom of the fruit.  Keeping the stem makes for a nice presentation, but it is not necessary
  3. Add the pears to your simmering liquid and bring back up to a solid simmer
  4. Let them stay there checking every few minutes for tenderness.  This step depends completely on the ripeness level of the fruit
  5. When a paring knife passes easily through the fruit, they are done
  6. Carefully remove from the syrup and set aside in a freezer or refrigerator to stop the cooking. This keeps them from cooking any more.  Shocking in an ice bath could water down the flavors you worked so hard to achieve.  Remember to bring them back to room temperature for service.
  7. Strain the syrup through muslin or a fine-mesh sieve, and add back to the saucepan
  8. Reduce by ¾, so that you have a nice base for your berry puree
  9. Add some fresh or frozen berries (your choice) and puree with an immersion blender.  Season to taste

Recommended Wine

  1. 2007 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre

Paul Suplee

Paul G. Suplee CEC, PC III is a private chef, college professor, writer, photographer & blogger who breathes food. Active in the professional food service industry since 1983, he has worked in a number of locations across the United States. Paul now teaches adult students near Ocean City, Maryland after an interesting four-year career as a high school teacher. No disrespect to the food stylist world or that of the food writer, but what you see and read from him, love it or hate it, is what you will get at his table. No blowtorches, no crisco-ice cream and no molasses in place of natural glazing, either in photo or word.

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