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Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

Breakfast – the most divine past-time anyone can partake in. There is nothing more exhilarating than replenishing an empty tummy that has gone all night without nourishment. Yes, I will admit, Breakfast and I are engaged in a passionate love affair. I dream in creamy Benedicts, crispy Hash Browns, decadent French Toasts, and fiery Bloody Marys.

So there is no worse torture than to wake up with a sharp jolt of realization that it is a Tuesday, you are late to your 7:30 meeting, and you will be having a Special K cereal bar for breakfast (that is, if you are lucky enough to make it to your desk by 7:25 to scarf it down).

On a typical weekday, that is my life. But oh, on the weekends, I indulge. I wake up to the warm sunlight peeking in from my windows, plop down on my couch with my latest page-turner book, and wait as my amazing Sous Chef makes me all the wondrously hearty breakfast items a girl could ever wish for.

So this past weekend, I decided to put my weekend laziness on hiatus and make something special for him too. I wanted to try something I’ve never done before, something light and healthy, but also elegant and delectable. I remember that my friend Viviane from Food and Style had posted a mouth-watering Poached Pear Sundae. So I took inspiration from her, made a couple of tweaks, and came up with this Maple-Riesling Poached Pears with Vanilla Yogurt & Maple Granola. Sounds like a mouthful doesn’t it? Well, at least it is a tasty mouthful!

The buttery pears were simply out of this world. The maple syrup and Riesling wine infusion lent richness to the naturally sweet pears, while bringing out its fragrant aroma.  The creamy vanilla yogurt complemented the juicy fruit, and the maple granola added that satisfying crunch.  This elegant dish is not only visually exquisite, it’s extremely versatile and can be easily transformed into a delectable dessert.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Pears, cut in half and cored
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Riesling wine
  • 1/4 cup Apple Juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp Orange Juice
  • A Handful of Granola (I found these amazing maple flavored ones to complement the maple syrup)
  • 2-3 cups Vanilla Yogurt

Now, Patiently Poach

  1. Pour all the liquids (water, maple syrup, apple juice, wine, orange juice) into a pot on high heat.
  2. When it is gently boiling, put in the pears, flat side down and turn to a low-medium heat. Check to make sure the liquid infusion fully covers the pear. (If it doesn’t, add more of whatever you think is missing)
  3. Poaching will take approximately an hour. Be sure to turn the pears over every 20 minutes so they can cook evenly.
  4. When you see the mixture starting to bubble, you’re almost done! *Note: It is very important  to remove the pears soon, because once the liquid evaporates, the pears will stick to the bottom and you’ll end up with burnt pears. One of mine charred on the edges!
  5. Let the pears cool, or if you like them hot, scoop the yogurt to cover the core, sprinkle with granola, and…Bon Appetit!

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There are so many exciting variations for this:

  • To transform this into a dessert, ditch the yogurt and go for the ICE CREAM! Mmmm
  • Instead of granola, try golden raisins, crushed almonds, cranberries, or a mixture of all of them!
  • Why not experiment with different flavors of yogurt – peach, blueberry, lime, or what about chocolate?
  • Speaking of chocolate, I wonder how this would taste with Nutella!?
  • Grab some of your amazing home-made pumpkin or apple bread, chop up the pears, and make this into a Pear Trifle with layers of wine-soaked bread, yogurt, and pears.
  • Satisfy the low-brow in you with a heap of whipped cream, or dare I say…Cool Whip!
  • Finally, you’ll notice that most fall fruit recipes have 2 spices – Cinnamon and Nutmeg. I didn’t use these because I was already using so many ingredients, but in hindsight, a little bit would’ve given some additional warm spice to the dish.
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