Poached Pears With Roquefort Streusel And Chocolate Cream

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on February 13, 2013

poached pears with roquefort streusel and chocolate creamPoached pears are another great dessert to make for Valentine’s Day, and whether you prefer red wine or white wine to add to your poaching syrup, this wonderful little dessert can be planned in advance if you want to WOW someone but don’t have a lot of time.

I chose to poach mine in a white wine syrup, and served them as is. If you have a little extra time, you can add some sugar and caramelize the surface… It’s an extra step but adds a lovely contrast to the pear.

I love a good Roquefort cheese, so for a little extra crunch and a sweet and salty combo that I also enjoy, I made a delicious Roquefort streusel. By itself, it tastes just like a delicious and crumbly savory shortbread cookie, but when you make it this way, it makes a great accompaniment to this simple but elegant dessert.

The last component to this dessert was a rich chocolate cream that I also love and try to use whenever I can. It goes with just about anything, and you can eat it as is if you want a ‘pudding’, use it as filling for crepes or you can even bake it into your cake batter.

To garnish the plate, I made some caramelized rognures (pronounced ron-yur). The French don’t waste anything, so when there is leftover puff pastry, they make these in either a sweet or salty variation. Add a little butter and some cinnamon sugar to puff pastry scraps and bake them until golden brown. You can use these as a garnish or just a great little snack.

Although this dessert takes a little planning, it’s still very easy to make. Once all of the components have been made, all you need to do is put it all together when you are ready to present your dessert.

Poached Pears
4 Bosc pears, cut in half

Poaching liquid:
3 cups water
2 cups good white wine
2 cups sugar

Place all of the ingredients of the poaching liquid to a small pot and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, the liquid should be on a slow simmer to slowly cook the pears. Peel and core all of your pears, and don’t remove the stem. One of the halves will get the stem, the other won’t, unless you are handy with the knife and want to try cutting that in half too. You can opt to keep the pears whole and just peel and core them and fill the cavity with the chocolate cream when you are ready to serve. Add these to the poaching liquid and poach gently for about 30 minutes or until tender when poked with a knife. When ready, remove them from the liquid and set aside to cool or cover and refrigerate. Reduce the poaching syrup for another 30 minutes until it has thickened.

pears poaching in white wine syrup

Chocolate Cream
1 recipe chocolate pastry cream

Roquefort Streusel
4 oz good quality Roquefort cheese
4 oz cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
S&P to taste

Place the flour, cheese and butter in a medium sized bowl and begin to crumble with your hands until it resembles a coarse meal. Grab a handful of the streusel and squeeze it until it forms a solid mass, then gently place this onto a paper lined tray and break it up slightly, but make sure to leave some large pieces. Repeat this until all of the streusel is used up. It should look like this before going into the oven…

roquefort streusel before baking

Bake it for about 20 minutes at 350°F until golden brown. You will have to check it about half way through and toss it with a fork to make sure that it cooks evenly. Make sure not to burn this, and if the edges get burned at all, move them to the edge of the tray and don’t use them. Once out of the oven and cooled slightly, taste the streusel and then adjust for any extra salt and pepper that it may need. Set aside to cool completely.

Once baked, it will look like this…

roquefort stresuel

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