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Pears Poached in Armagnac with Vanilla Ice Cream


Armagnac's pungent taste makes for a delicious poaching liquid and sauce and is an ideal companion for orchard fruit desserts.

Digestif: 1 to 1¼-ounces of cellar temperature Château de Busca 1985 Tenarèze Armagnac.

Wine recommendation: A botrytis-affected sweet wine, such as Grande Maison's 2001 Cuvée Madame from Monbazillac, or Marquis de Montesquiou XO Armagnac.

F. Paul Pacult
Number of Servings
Serves 6 to 8
2 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
1 cup brown cane sugar
2 cups of VSOP Armagnac
1ΒΌ pounds pears, halved lengthwise and cored
Vanilla ice cream
Ginger cookies
Combine the water, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and Armagnac in a 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium-heat until the sugar dissolves.

Add the halved pears. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently but gently, until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat; carefully transfer the pears and sauce into mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the bowl from refrigerator. With a slotted spoon transfer the pear halves to another bowl; remove any stray vanilla bean and cinnamon bits. Strain the remaining liquid over the pears.

Spoon the ice cream into individual serving dishes. Distribute the pears between the dishes. Drizzle the sauce over each and garnish with ginger cookies.
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