Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Wine Poached Pear Sorbet with Star Anise, Cinnamon and Black Peppercorn

I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.  I've been running all week to get my daughter ready for back to school which started today, you can't see it but; I'm busy doing the Electric Slide as we speak.  Her birthday is this weekend and the girls and me were doing some cake experiments so we could nail down the menu.  We made a White Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Chocolate Mousse and Grand Marnier filling.  It was light and decadent, yet I couldn't help but think it needed a little something.

As you can see by the missing cake, it was well received around here.  We just may have to make one more before we make our final decision.

I had these gorgeous red Bartlett pears from the farm stand and I didn't want these pears to feel unloved and unworthy of all the attention I have been lavishing on my other farm stand finds.  I decide they needed a recipe that was worthy of their beauty.

These were special pears and they needed a recipe that was as splendid as they were.  So after a little thought; this is how those pretty pears met their demise.

Red Wine Poached Pear Sorbet with Star Anise, Cinnamon and Black Peppercorns
4 red Bartlett Pears
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Merlot)
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole black peppercorns

Peel and cut the four pears into 1" cubes and place them into a large saucepan.  Add the sugar, red wine, star anise, cinnamon stick and peppercorns.  I added the spices loose, but you could put them in a piece of cheesecloth that is tied up for easy removal.  Turn the heat on to medium high and let the mixture come up to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer.  

I let the pears simmer for about 30 minutes, till they were fork tender, turned the heat off and let them cool completely.  I fished out the spices and put the mixture into a food processor. Pulse until finely pureed, if you have any large pieces, force through a sieve.

Then put the mixture into the frozen canister of an ice cream maker and mix for 25 minutes.  Put in a freezer safe container and keep frozen.  

It was the perfect companion for the cake, the wine really infused into the pears and the spice is there but not overwhelming.  I could have eaten the whole container of sorbet myself, but I exercised just a smidge of restraint, after all I needed room for the cake.

Hope you are enjoying the summer; mine seems to be going by way too quickly.




  1. Everything looks wonderful Gina, I'm ready to come back for a visit to your farm stands! Your pears should feel very loved in the sorbet;-)
    Congratulations on making it through the push to get ready for school, I remember those days but they didn't come in the beginning of August, don't envy you that!

  2. I totally forgot about the pears when I saw that beauteous cake! And I was so looking forward to its recipe except when I scrolled down, I was reminded that this was a sorbet post... I now feel less loved than those pears, Gina :-(.

    But hey, glad to know that you're a fellow Electric Slider! Hope you and your girls have a blast at the birthday party this weekend (PS. After which, there will hopefully be a recipe for this cake).

  3. As if poached pears are not nice enough. What a great sorbet! Sorbets are so great because you can really taste the fruity goodness. The spice makes it so appropriate for a celebration.

  4. Whoa!! This sounds fabulous, and refreshing!!

  5. Does this look every good;wow! and now I know why you gace me the idea of making sorbet.

  6. I am so glad that you posted this recipe..I was looking to make sorbet, but I guess I am in the same pot as going back to school!:))
    Looks wonderful Gina, I love the cake, and sorbet...fantastic color!

  7. Both the cake and the sorbet look fantastic! Yes, summer is quickly coming to a close regardless if we are ready or not. Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a great recipe, saving this one for sure!! :)

  9. What a great combo of flavors in that the color as well! Back to school already? Kids start back in two weeks around here...

  10. Gina your pear sorbet sounds fab!! And I wanted to let you know that I love your blog so much I am sharing these awards with you! They are on my blog so come and get them!

  11. What a fantastic flavour of sorbet, Gina!

  12. Everything looks wonderful! The sorbet sounds cool, refreshing, and just fabulous! And the cake looks perfect! Hope it is a wonderful Birthday!

  13. Gina, no wonder the cake was well received! I love its light and tender crumb. Okay, after having the cake, I think I could still have a large glass of your pear sorbet!

  14. Oh my....that sorbet looks fantastic. I am loving this take on cake and ice cream. :)

  15. So cool! I wonder if it kind of tastes like a summery, chilled gluwein...if so THANK YOU SO MUCH! I try to make it every Christmas and it just doesn't work with the 90 degree temps. sorbet form, I'm thinking that might be just perfect :) Buzzed!

  16. What a refreshing looking sorbet! :D

  17. That cake looks good, Gina... A great choice, I would say... and that sorbet looks and sounds amazing & refreshing! What a gorgeous combination of flavors! Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  18. This sorbet sounds fantastic! I love the flavors and the color is beautiful! Great idea :)

  19. Goodness! This is such a fabulous flavor combination for a sorbet...will want to be stealing this :)


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