Note: This recipe was part of a Beyonce-themed dinner party – see the entire menu here.
There were quite a few friends that helped come up with the puns for We Like to Party, but Tyrone’s “PEARtition” was my favorite. My immediate thought when he texted that to me was “red wine poached pears!”, which I’ve done before. The rest of the recipe changed about 15 times before I arrived at the final version – the addition of a creme anglaise and the brown butter crumble for a bit of crunch.
Let’s put it all together!
- for the pears
10 pears (d'anjou, bosc), peeled and cored
- 4 cups red wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 green cardamom pods, cracked
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 3 slices fresh ginger
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
for the orange flower crème anglaise (adapted from epicurious)
1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can substitute vanilla extract)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp orange flower water
- 3 tbsp sugar
for the brown butter crumble (adapted from food and wine)
1 stick + 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- for the pears
- Peel and core pears from the bottom to keep the pear in tact. First, slice off the bottom of the pear to create a flat surface so the pear can stand up on its own. To core from the bottom, use a sharp paring knife and cut a circle in the bottom center of the pear, gradually cutting out the core. A melon baller is also a great way to remove the core.
- In a large pot, combine 4 cups of red wine, 3 cups of water, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla beans, vanilla pod, ginger and black peppercorn and bring to a boil. Add in pears, adding more water if necessary to make sure pears are covered in liquid. Poach, turning occasionally, for 18-25 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pears. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork. Let cool in poaching liquid, then refrigerate in poaching liquid overnight.
- Remove cooled pears from the poaching liquid. Strain the poaching liquid to remove solids. Discard the spices. Place liquid in a saucepan and boil to reduce to a syrup-y consistency over medium-high heat, about 30-45 minutes. Set aside.
- for the creme anglaise
- In a small saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean paste or extract and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, orange flower water and sugar. Slowly whisk in warmed cream. Return the mixture to the saucepan and stir over low heat until the mixture thickens enough to leave a trail on the back of a spoon when swiped with a finger. It should take about 5-8 minutes. Do not boil, or you'll end up with super sweet vanilla scrambled eggs. No bueno. Pour through a strainer to remove any cooked egg pieces, then cover and chill. This can be made up to a day ahead.
- for the brown butter crumble
- In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until the foam subsides and begins to give off a nutty aroma, swirling the pan occasionally. It should take 5-10 minutes. Combine with the sugar in a medium, heatproof bowl and let cool slightly.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Add flour, brown sugar, almond meal, chopped almonds and salt to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir to combine and large crumbs form. Place the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and press into one even layer, about 1" thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Break the mixture into small chunks and bake for 20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden. Let cool. This can be made up to 1 week ahead of time, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- to serve
- On a serving plate, place a dollop of creme anglaise and smear across the plate. Place desired amount of brown butter crumble (I used a couple of tablespoons per serving, but most people were asking for more crumbles after the dish was served - use your own discretion), and top with the poached pear. Drizzle the red wine reduction over the plate and serve.