During the fall season, we tend to get a fair amount of local pears from our CSA. Years ago my mom remembered this recipe that her friend Kris made with pears poached in Port Wine and then served on a salad but she could not find the recipe. Instead, I found this recipe for canning the pears in red wine. These are pictures of the pears we canned last year and then used in salads over the winter. Our problem is we don't really know how to can that well so we placed these in the refrigerator since my Mom didn't trust our canning skills (she also placed some pickles she made this year in the refrigerator). Maybe, we will get better at canning if we do it a bit more and take a class next year with Wasatch Community Gardens.
Anyway, these pears are really delicious on a fresh salad with some toasted nuts and blue cheese. We add toasted pecans that you can order from Thompson Family Farm and blue cheese from Snowy Mountain creamery. We got some arugula from our CSA this week but the pears we made this year aren't really ready to eat yet. You can use the wine to make the dressing for the salad. We'll post a picture of the salad with these pears once they are ready.
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 and 1/2 pounds pears
lemon juice, mixed with water to make 10% solution
small handful of cloves
2 pieces of 2-inch cinnamon stick
1) Sterilize two 32 ounce canning jars and lids.
2) Make the wine syrup. Mix sugar in 2 & 1/4 cups water in heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the wine. Place cover on pan to keep warm.
3) Peel and slice pears. Place sliced pears in 10% lemon juice solution to keep from browning.
4) Pack the pears into the sterilized jars. Add cloves and one piece of cinnamon stick to each jar.
5) Bring the wine syrup back to a boil and pour over the pears. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Process the jars in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Use within one year (if they last that long).
Red Wine and Balsamic Wine Reduction
1/2 cup of the red wine from the pears
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbls. honey
1) Combine red wine, vinegar and honey in small saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until reduced to a syrup-like consistency.
2) Mix red wine reduction with 1/4 cup of olive oil and serve over fresh green salad with pecans, pears and crumbled blue cheese.