For my birthday in September, my friend Daniel gifted me a bottle of dessert wine. I hoped to make a dessert with it (or to go with it), and since Daniel's birthday was this month I decided to use his gift to me and make a gift for him.
Being that I've been so busy/overwhelmed lately, I decided to keep things simple and do wine-poached pears. I've poached pears before, and I've poached mushrooms in white wine before, but this was the first time with pears and red wine. Had to dilute the wine with a bit of water so I'd have enough liquid to cover the pears. Also added a cinnamon stick and bay leaf for flavor. Brought the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for a little bit over an hour, until knife tender.
Decided the keep the whole pear intact because I thought it would be more dramatic. For toppings, I had caramel sauce and sweetened creme fraiche (tied in little ziplock baggies as makeshift mini piping bags), powdered sugar, and poaching liquid reduced and sweetened with agave syrup.
Spooned the reduced poaching liquid on first, then creme fraiche, caramel sauce, and the dusting of powdered sugar (through the mesh colandar) last. It looks pretty dramatic if I do say so myself.
And it wasn't too sweet, because I didn't poach it with sugar. And Daniel liked it too. A warm and satisfying treat.