Cabernet-Poached Pears au Bleu in Puff Pastry

Masson says that frozen puff pastry will make this appetizer easy for the home chef. Defrost the pastry and then cut it into 2×2-inch squares.

Wine recommendation: At the Saratoga Lake Inn, this dessert is most often served with sweet wines, such as Sauternes or Monbazillac.

  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 Anjou Pears, peeled
  • 4 (2x2-inch) squares puff pastry
  • 1/2 pound Bleu d'Auvergne, cut into 8 slices
  • Pecan halves or toasted almonds, optional, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour the wine into a saucepan big enough to hold the pears, set over high heat and bring to boil. Add the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and brown sugar. Place the pears upright into the pan, and poach for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Halfway through cooking time, place the pastry squares on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the cores. Place 2 halves on each of 4 appetizer plates. Top each half with a slice of cheese, and then top each plate with a square of warm puff pastry, sprinkle with pecan halves or toasted almonds and serve.

Published on July 6, 2010