This is an excellent and elegant dessert using fresh pears. You may make it almost all year round because there is almost always some variety of pear in season.
4 perfect pears
Grated fresh ginger root to taste
Commercial Puff Pastry
Egg wash – (1 raw egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of cold water)
Peel and core the pears. Core from the bottom of the pear, so that you leave the stem on the top. (p) - (p of coarer) If you wish to prevent them from browning, wipe them with a lemon that has been cut in half. Set aside. Mix the brown sugar with the grated fresh ginger root. The amount needed will vary depending on the size of the pears. Pack this brown sugar mixture into the pears and set them aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Using a crinkle-cut pastry wheel (p), cut the thawed Puff Pastry into strips one-half inch wide. Use these to completely encase each pear in overlapping rows of pastry (p). Set the pastry wrapped pears in a baking pan lines with a piece of Bakers' Parchment. Paint each pastry encased pear with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with raw, Turbinado or Demerrara sugar. Bake for thirty five to forty minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and well puffed.
The Wine Reduction:
While the pears are baking, make the wine reduction. Most recipes call for a red wine reduction. Me, I don’t think that red wine complements the flavor of pears and ginger at all. I much prefer this white wine version. Sure, it doesn’t make nearly as striking a presentation on the plate as the red wine variety, but I think you will agree that the flavor is superb.
2 cups white wine – (a Rhine or Sauterne work best but Chardonnay will do)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 or 2 slices of fresh ginger root
Place all ingredients in a sauce-pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered until the amount of liquid has reduced by half.
When the pears are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes before removing from the pan. Place the pears on individual dessert dishes and spoon the wine reduction onto the plates to form a puddle around each pear. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint if available. Serve warm or at room temperature. A nice addition would be a small pitcher of thick cream to pour over each serving.