I guess infusing my favourite beverages with desserts has given me inspirations! Although Earl Grey still tops the exclusive list, the complex yet delicate bouquet of Vouvray, and the high acidity from Chenin Blanc makes it the perfect complement for the luscious yet velvety Anjou pears.
Located in the Touraine district of France's Loire Valley, this Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) is dedicated almost exclusively to Chenin blanc, a variety known locally as Pineau de la Loire that is believed to have been originated interestingly in the Anjou wine region sometime in the 9th century. A wine pairing dinner featured 4 wines from Loire Valley has drawn my attention in the potential marriage with desserts, where the notes of honey, nuts, ginger, fig, apples and white flowers can be innocently exhibited.
~ Vouvray poached Anjou pears ~
1 bottle of your favourite Vouvray
4 Anjou pears - firm but with slight give, peeled and cored but leaving the stem intact.
6 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
1 pinch of salt
*avoid using vanilla bean for this recipe to preserve the bouquet of the Vouvray
1. In a deep stainless steel pot (should be large enough to stand all 4 pears, and deep enough that enough wine can be added to cover the pears completely), add wine, sugar and salt and bring it to a simmer.
2. Add the pears and ensure all parts are submerged in the wine, simmer very gently in the wine for 40 minutes, or until the flesh have been soften but not breaking.
3. Gently remove the pears onto a plate to cool.
4. Strain the poaching liquid; return the liquid to cleaned pot and reduce it on high heat to 1/4 of its original volume, or until it becomes a consistency between maple syrup and honey.
5. Serve the pears with the reduced syrup, or to top a luscious custard tart!