Stilton with Port-Glazed Pears
As these poached pears rest in their poaching syrup, they turn a rich garnet color. I serve them halved, sliced and fanned with some of the ruby syrup, with Stilton alongside. From The Cheese Course.
- 1 cup ruby Port
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 strips lemon zest
- 2 ripe but firm pears
- 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 to 8 ounces Stilton cheese
In a small saucepan, bring the Port, water, sugar and lemon zest to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. While the mixture heats, peel the pears. Add the pears to the simmering liquid, setting them on their sides. Cover with a round of parchment paper that just fits over the pears, tucking it around them. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook 15 minutes.
Lift the parchment and turn the pears over in the liquid so they cook evenly. Recover and continue cooking until they are just tender when pierced, 10 to 12 more minutes. Remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.
Transfer the pears with a slotted spoon to a refrigerator container. Simmer the poaching liquid over moderate heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Cool completely, then add the lemon juice. Pour over the pears, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Turn the pears in the syrup every couple of hours so they develop a deep burgundy color.
To serve, cut the pears in half lengthwise and core with a melon baller. Put each pear half on a cutting board, cut side down. Thinly slice lengthwise, leaving the slices attached at the stem end. Gently press on the pear halves to fan the slices. Put a generous tablespoon of Port syrup on each of four dessert plates. With a metal spatula, transfer a pear fan to each plate, placing it over the sauce. Put a slice of Stilton on each plate.