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Poached Pears With Brandy Sabayon

Feb. 15, 2010 04:55 PM
Chef Carol Blonder of Sur la Table

5 cups unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild-flavored, light molasses
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 firm but ripe large Bosc pears, about 9 ounces each, peeled, halved, cored
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons kosher brandy

Combine the apple juice, brown sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a large, heavy saucepan. Cover and bring to simmer. Add pears and return mixture to simmer. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer slowly until pears are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to plate. Transfer 1 cup poaching liquid to a sauce pan and reduce to 1/2 cup. Transfer to a large metal bowl and set aside to cool 10 minutes.

Whisk in egg yolks and brandy. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water – do not allow bowl to touch water. Whisk constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or more to cook the sauce, until it has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Be sure to constantly whisk the bottom of the bowl so that the yolks do not scramble, and adjust the heat as needed. When thick, foamy and tripled in volume, remove from heat. The temperature should register 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove bowl from water. The sabayon can be served hot, tepid or cool.

Slice the pear halves lengthwise into 5 pieces. Fan slices on 8 dessert plates and top with the brandy sabayon. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.