Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baked Pears in Marsala Wine

Somehow or other, when I decide to cut back on desserts, fruit gets a free pass. OK, forget that scoop of ice cream nestled beside the pear on the plate above, and the sugar and butter in the recipe, below.
 It's still fruit as the main event, not cake or pastry. And fruit is your friend, right?
Pears poached in red wine has been one of my standard winter desserts for years, but after receiving a copy of Rachel Roddy's new book, "My Kitchen In Rome," I knew that I had to try her recipe for baked pears in Marsala wine and cinnamon.
Many of the recipes in this new book by a young English woman transplanted to Rome had me pining for the Eternal City, and will be familiar to anyone who's a fan of Roman cuisine. You'll find old favorites like spaghetti alla carbonara and carciofi alla romana, but also some unusual and tempting recipes like a sausage and cabbage cake that looks like an oak tree's trunk and branches when flipped out of its pan.
And if you love octopus, she's got a recipe for cooking it that ensures a perfectly tender and flavorful result every time.
What I also love about this book is the writing.
Rachel's got a real way with words and telling stories, so it's not surprising that she also writes a column for the British newspaper, The Guardian.
But back to those pears. The recipe calls for comice pears, and I don't know if what I bought were comice pears. They were on the smallish side, so they could have been, but I'm not sure. It doesn't matter though, because I think you could easily make these with any type of pear.
First you smear the pears with butter. Then sprinkle with sugar and pour the Marsala and other ingredients over the pears.
Bake in the oven for about a half hour, covered, then another half hour uncovered, until the pears are tender and slightly shriveled.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream, or a spoonful of mascarpone, as Rachel suggests.

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Baked Pears with Marsala and cinnamon
printable recipe here
from "My Kitchen in Rome" by Rachel Roddy

6 Comice pears (or other types)
3 Tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup dry Marsala wine (I used sweet Marsala)
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
mascarpone (or ice cream), to serve

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Slice the bottom off each pear so that they sit flat. Using a sharp knife, cut out the central core as best you can. Rub some butter over the skin of each pear and sit them, stalk upward, in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the Marsala, sprinkle on the sugar, and break the cinnamon sticks roughly over the pears. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking for another 25 minutes, or until the pears are very tender and slightly shriveled. Serve warm or at room temperature, with some of the sticky juices and a scoop or ice cream or mascarpone cheese.

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Rosa said...

This is a gorgeous dessert! So delicious.



Claudia said...

Yes, I am a sucker for poached pears (any kind) in wine (any kind). I love the idea of the mascarpone instead of ice cream (not that it saves calories). This is pure, winter, semi-healthy comfort! And pretty to boot.

Faith Bahadurian said...

Love that you aren't asked to peel the pears, a bit of time (and pear flesh) saved.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I love pears in wine. The last time I made them a used a sweeter white wine but the sweet Marsala sounds wonderful. I goofed up on the Marsala a long time ago. I made Chicken Marsala and I thought I had the dry marsala -- it wasn't :-( YUCK. We ate it but it certainly wasn't up to par. Now the octopus recipe -- do you think it could be made with calamari?? I love calamari and it is more available than octopus. I am pinning the recipe -- can't wait to make it.

Stefano Arturi - said...

The book is really good+ chck,out also her excellent blog Racheleats.wordpress. Stefano

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This writer and cookbook sounds very interesting, Linda. I like learning new regional Italian recipes. We love pears in season--this looks like a nice easy dessert to serve guests.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This writer and cookbook sounds very interesting, Linda. I like learning new regional Italian recipes. We love pears in season--this looks like a nice easy dessert to serve guests.

AdriBarr said...

I adore pears. They make such elegant desserts, and this recipe sounds wonderful. Somehow, even when they are sitting next to ice cream, floating on a sea of creme anglaise or even cloaked in pastry, pears just never strike me as a calorie-laden dessert. Maybe I am fooling myself, but I'll select a pear dessert every time. I've enjoyed Rachel Roddy for some time now - she's perfect for an armchair traveler like myself!

racheleats said...

Yours pears look perfect and thank you so much for your kind words, I am truly touched and feel very fortunate that my writing roots are deep within a generous blogging world. You now have me craving pears in red wine, warmest wishes Rach x

paula Barbarito Levitt said...

It appears as though you executed the recipe perfectly Linda. I look forward to my copy of Rachel’s book as well.

Frank Fariello said...

I haven't had much luck with pears this year. They seem to go straight from underripe to tasteless mush. But I wonder if this treatment might help less than ideal underripe pears along in the flavor department?

Chiara Giglio said...

adoro i dessert con le pere insieme al gelato sono meravigliose !