Two-in-one recipes are more fun when booze is involved. That is fact. In this recipe, we end up with bonus snifters of basic vino caliente, or South American mulled wine, to go with blushing red poached pears. Granted, there isn’t anything exclusively South American about the spiced wine component, but vino caliente sounds much cooler than “hot wine,” doesn’t it?
Once the pears are poached, some of the spiced wine is simmered down into a light and fruity syrup. The wine reduction keeps the richness of the dulce de leche sauce in check.
recipe adapted from Maria Baez Kijac’s The South American Table
Peras con Salsa de Dulce de Leche
Poached Pears with Dulce de Leche Sauce
makes 4 generous servings
4 ripe but firm Anjou or Bartlett pears
walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped for garnishing
For the Poaching Liquid:
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
a strip of zest from 1 lemon or lime
For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
1/2 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup light whipping cream
1 tablespoon rum or brandy (optional)
- The poached pears, spiced wine syrup, and dulce de leche sauce can be made ahead of time. Reheat just before serving.
- Prepare the poaching liquid. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the red wine, water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and citrus zest to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- While the poaching liquid simmers, prepare the pears. Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and core to remove the seeds.
- Add the pears to the poaching liquid. Cover and poach the pears for about 10 minutes, until tender but still firm. Transfer the pears to a large platter.
- Remove all but 1 cup of the poaching liquid from the saucepan (reserve the excess wine and enjoy as a warm beverage). Simmer the remaining wine over medium heat until reduced by half and slightly thickened.
- Prepare the dulce de leche sauce. Heat the dulce de leche and cream over medium heat. Stir until smooth and continue cooking only until the sauce is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum or brandy (if using).
- Spoon a few tablespoons of the dulce de leche sauce on small serving plates. Slice the poached pears and set on top of the dulce de leche sauce. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the spiced wine syrup over the pear slices and top with walnuts or pecans. Serve while still warm.