Pere “ubriache” (“drunken” pears), with zabaglione custard
|November 12, 2012||Posted by ameliaps under autumn, dessert, fruit, Italian, thanksgiving, tradition|
The summer traveled by fast; then fall came…and went, and it is winter outside already. So the thermometer says, and my mood.
The daily occupations constantly refilling my cup, without room for a breath, have been a distraction away from my writing.
So I welcome this quiet evening, as I am alone in the home, listening to the rain tap on the windows, a pot of tea simmering on the stove, my belly full with dinner, and a piece of salted chocolate by my side. No work to do tonight (or at least no urgent fire to extinguish), which has been rather unusual.
A new book awaits me next to the bedside, but the here-and-now says “sit and say hello to your friends in the ether, you have not written in a while, you really have not shared some goodness with them in a little too long”. So I head to the kitchen and test a recipe for the coming Thanksgiving. My mother will come to visit from Italy for this all-American tradition, which I have so gladly acquired, for some family time. Even though we talk daily over the phone, I miss her physical proximity, the small talk, the sitting together over coffee and cookies in the afternoon.
This dessert can be a rather welcomed light sweet something after a heavy Turkey and starch meal. It is also rather simple in concept and fits with the season, colors and all. I see it as the merging of two worlds: the old and the new, which, in many ways, is what my life is all about. An Italian dessert entering an American feast. And this dessert does it so unassumingly. I think it is going to become one of my new Thanksgiving favorites.
By the way, “pere ubriache” means “drunken pears”, and I rather like this visual, of a pear (the most feminine of all fruits), bathing in a warm spiced wine, relaxing, taking her time, absorbing the fragrances, softening her skin, mulling, becoming herself.
(On a side note, I hope to post a long overdue “Photo Friday” at the end of the week. I’ve missed it)
|Pere “ubriache” (“drunken” pears), with zabaglione custard||
- 6 Ripe but firm pears (Williams, Bosc, or Anjou)
- 1 bottle red wine (wouldn’t you agree, it should be Italian?)
- 2-3 Cloves (to taste)
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Peel of an orange
- Spices: 7-10 pepper corns, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, ½ vanilla bean – scraped
- 1 pound (450 gr.) of sugar
- 8 egg yolks (~1+ egg yolk per person)
- 3/4 to 1 cup (~7 oz., 200 gr.) sugar, as desired
- 2 half egg shells (~1/2 cup) sweet white wine or Marsala or Vin Santo
- Peel the pears leaving the stalks on. Cut in half, and scoop out the seed part. If you have the patience, cut them as a fan (a slice almost all the way to the stalk, but not completely)
- Place the sugar, spices, and wine in a medium pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved
- Add the pears and cook until tender (~40-60 minutes, turning them halfway). Each pear has her own time to soften, so be patient.
- With a slotted spoon, gently remove the pears out of the wine syrup
- Reduce the syrup a few more minutes, and reserve (to serve on the pears)
- Beat the yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
- Drizzle in the wine and cook whisking constantly in a double boiler, until thick, frothy, and doubled in size. Do not boil or the yolks will curdle.
- Remove from heat, serve immediately, topped with the drunken pears.