I’m honored to introduce my friend Jackie Ourman, who is sharing some words of healthy New Year wisdom and an amazing recipe for poached pears with us today.
In case you don’t know her already (I’m betting many of you do!), Jackie is a chef, recipe developer and food writer. She recently worked as a test kitchen contributor at Bon Appétit Magazine and graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City with highest honors. Jackie began her culinary journey after she and her son were diagnosed with celiac disease, in addition to other food allergies, in 2011. She is passionate about creating recipes that don’t feel like they are missing anything and resources for living well despite those diagnoses. Her work has been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Epicurious and she shares recipes regularly on her blog, Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E). You can also find Jackie on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Jackie’s recipes aren’t exclusively dairy free, though many are, and her culinary experience makes her well-versed in whipping up dishes like these shiraz poached pears for all of us!
I am so happy to be here with all of you today. I met Alisa at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Denver and am really appreciative of the opportunity to connect with her readers. It is amazing to network and learn from other advocates in the community.
Alisa asked me to share a recipe and being that it is January, I thought a dessert might be taboo. However, the truth is, I don’t like to begin the year with a diet. I have in the past and it’s never stuck. In the end, I’ve been left with a feeling of failure and ultimately reverted back to poor eating habits. Diet is a four-letter word in my book.
My philosophy for this January is the same as the rest of the year
- Eat what my body is craving and do so in moderation
- Exercise as often as possible and recognize the ability and time to do so is a gift
- Eat foods in season and cook at home as much as possible since ultimately, the act of preparing your own food is truly healthy in every way
With that in mind, I am sharing this elegant poached pear dessert recipe. Desserts are meant to be savored and this one is so beautiful, I think you will be sure to save it for a special occasion or dinner at home. One of the best parts about this dessert is it can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. It is great for entertaining.
I have always been a chocolate girl when it comes to sweets but I learned this technique of poaching fruit in aromatics and wine during the first week of my pastry program in culinary school and it helped me see a whole new world of decadence. When picking pears for this recipe, be sure to find ones that aren’t too ripe and still have the stem attached. They are prettiest that way.
I used So Delicious Almond Milk Vanilla Ice cream because I found the almond flavor along with the crunch from the extra roasted almonds on top were the perfect complement to the flavor and texture of the poached pears. However, feel free to use your favorite ice cream and topping or just eat them straight away.
Special Diet Notes: Shiraz Poached Pears
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 750ml bottle of Shiraz (I used Yellow Tail)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 1" thick strips of orange peel (from about ¼ orange)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
- 4 bosc pears, skin peeled, stem intact
- 1 pint So Delicious Dairy Free Almond Vanilla Ice Cream
- ½ cup roasted, salted almonds, chopped coarsely
- Add the Shiraz, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean seeds and pod to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lay pears down on their side in the pan and reduce to simmering. Simmer on 15 minutes and then rotate pears to the other side and simmer an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove pears from the pan and bring liquid to a boil again. Continue boiling 25 to 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by ⅓ and thickened. You should have at least 1 cup of syrup remaining. Strain out the aromatics with a fine mesh sieve and reserve the sauce. You can serve the pears warm with sauce, ice cream and chopped almonds or pour sauce over them and reserve in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for the next day. Pears can be eaten cold, at room temperature or re-heated in the microwave.