While walking through the produce aisles the other day I saw the pears had started to arrive – Red, Bosc, Anjou, and Bartlett but most were as hard as rocks. Hardly good eating yet, but then how to enjoy one of my favorite fruits without suffering a dental mishap?
Poaching the pears first infuses the fruit with additional flavor and softens it enough so it is ready to eat without falling apart. I recommend the Bosc pears for this recipe.
- 1 Bosc pear halved and seeded
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of red wine and a cup of water
- 1 clove of Star Anise
- 12 black peppercorns
- 2 cups of Ricotta Cheese
- 1 can of Almond Paste
- A pie crust (Make your own or from the refrigerator case)
Place one cup of the sugar, the peppercorns and Anise with the wine and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to a simmer, then add the pear halves. Flip the pears every 15 or so minutes in the simmering wine. Remove pears when they begin to soften and make sure not to overcook. You will want the sauce to reduce to a thick syrup.
While the pear is poaching place the pie crust into a fluted tart pan. Press to the edges and pierce the bottom, then bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I use pie weights on parchment paper to keep the shell from shrinking. Take out and let cool.
Warm the almond paste and blend with a cup of sugar in a mixer, then add the ricotta by half cup, continuing to blend each addition till smooth.
Assemble by spreading the ricotta mixture in the pie shell, then slice the pears and arrange on top. Drizzle with the reduced wine syrup (removing the peppercorns and Anise). Sprinkle with shaved almond pieces, bake for 20 more minutes to set, then let cool to serve.
I use the spices in the red wine to add some zip, but they are optional. Look for me on Facebook – I just started a page under Cooking with Glenn. I hope you’ll stop by and ‘Like’ it.
Till next time, Make it Your Own!