You’re probably familiar with pears cooked in wine served as a dessert: they’re delicious, easy to prepare and hard to forget.
We added our own twist by playing a little with the contrast between sweet and savoury ingredients. The result is a delicacy that could very well be wither the last or the first course of a lovely, mouth-watering meal.
It’s up to you, now: will you serve them as a dessert or as a starter?
Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 1 h
- Ready rolled puff pastry: 320 g (about 1 standard-sized roll)
- Ham, thinly-sliced: 100 g
- Dolcetto d’Alba or Bonarda or any light, dry red wine: 500 ml
- Cinnamon sticks: 2
- Conference pears: 2
- Cloves: 2
- Eggs: 1
- Star anise fruits: 1
- Bay leaves: 1
- Honey or Maple syrup: 2 tbsp
Peel the pears, rinse them under cold running water and dry them thoroughly with a clean kitchen cloth.
Place the pears in a pot and pour in the wine. Make sure that the wine covers the pears completely.
Tip: If your pot is too small, use a ladle to continuously pour wine over the pears as it simmers.
Add the spices and the honey to the wine, then leave it to simmer over medium to low heat for about 30 minutes. The wine will thicken up in a sort of syrup.
Tip: Prick your pears with a toothpick to check whether they’re cooked through: if the pears are ready, the toothpick will effortlessly penetrate their flesh.
Beat up the eggs in a small bowl and add a tablespoon or two or water. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut it into strings about 1 cm wide. Cut the ham slices in strings of the same size and place a string of ham over each puff pastry string. Press down on the ham with your fingers to ensure it adheres well to the puff pastry.
Remove the pears from the pot and let them cool down for a few minutes. Filter the wine syrup and set it aside.
Wrap each pear with a few of the ham and puff pastry strings you just prepared. Be careful to place the ham side of the string into contact with the pear and to leave the puff pastry side facing outwards; this way the ham will not burn when you bake the pears. Use a kitchen brush to spread the egg and water mixture over the puff pastry.
Bake the pears to 180°C for about 20 minutes.
Serve warm, with some wine syrup on the side.
Tip: Mind to select only slighlty unripe pears with a fairly hard flesh; otherwise, the pulp will break down in a puree when you cook the pears in the wine!