Moscato Poached Pears with Gorgonzola Dolce

Perfect for a special dinner party.  Also perfect for the fall–a hearty yet fresh dessert.
  • 4 semi-firm, ripe pears (preferably Anjou or Comice)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and its zest cut into wide strips
  • 1½ cups Moscato or other sweet Italian dessert wine, such as vin santo or Dindarello
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 8-12 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, room temperature

Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Rub flesh with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Slice in half, lengthwise, and remove core and seeds with a melon baller or spoon.

Arrange pears cut-side down in a heavy, nonreactive pot. Add wine and enough water to barely cover the fruit. Add vanilla bean and zest. Lay a piece of parchment paper on top of pears and cover pot with lid.   Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and poach pears until easily pierced, 15-30 minutes.

Transfer pears to a serving platter, cut side up, and cover with parchment. Remove and discard the vanilla bean and zest from poaching liquid. Boil liquid over medium-high heat until it has reduced to a nice syrupy consistency, 20-30 minutes. Remove parchment and pour the syrup over pears. Let pears sit at room temperature for an hour or so to absorb the syrupy goodness.

Serve each pear with a wedge of Gorgonzola and a generous spoonful of syrup.

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

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