Will It Be Sous Vide? Cute Pears Baked in Wine
Hi friendly friends, and welcome to the latest issue ofWill It Sous Vide this year? , a weekly column where I do whatever you want with my immersion circulator.
Initially, I wanted to do something more grandiose , but circumstances beyond my control did not allow me to do it. My grandmother is a lovely woman, but her kitchen – although superbly decorated with many lovely ceramic chickens – lacks essentials like a few cutting boards, one sharp knife, and table space. (I mean, there is a kitchen counter, but this is mostly covered by the aforementioned chickens.) There is also no oven working, besides the variety of the toaster.
Given the limitations of the kitchen, I decided to do something simple yet elegant. There was no clear “winner” in the topic selection session this week , but some people liked the idea of fruit sous vide, so I decided to go for sous vide pears in red wine. If you’ve ever cooked poached pears, you know it’s not entirely difficult, but you should watch them in the boiling liquid and flip over from time to time. As with most sous vide cooking, the beauty of pears this way lies in the very little attention you have to give them, so to speak, in a bag. This choice meant that I had to purchase not only pears and wine, but also some “mulling” spices, since my grandmother’s spice rack is 90% garlic salt.
I originally planned to take vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, cloves, fresh ginger and star anise, but this was not intended. The first grocery store had a whole piece of ginger in a plastic wrap, but it had a crown of fuzzy mold on it, so I didn’t buy the ginger. There were also no vanilla beans or star anise, so I took a few cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, and whole cloves and left. Then I went to Piggly Wiggly where the spice was even more scarce.
However, they had chips that I had never seen before.
I left Piggly Wiggly and went to the liquor store. (Fun fact: I’m technically from an arid county, but since I live in the county, I was able to buy alcohol.) I grabbed a bottle of Malbec and headed home.
Do you remember how I said earlier that my grandmother’s kitchen was missing some tools? In fact, this shouldn’t have surprised me, but there was no corkscrew, not even decorative. “We pierced the cork and inserted it into the bottle,” my father suggested and went to get the instruments.
My father punched a hole in the cork, from which a small trickle of wine formed, which made me think I could safely insert the cork. (Ron Howard’s voice: “But it wasn’t safe to go ahead and push the cork off the cork.”)
ANYWAY. There was no time to cry over the spilled malbec, so I dried my face, changed my shirt and peeled the pears. I then placed two pears in a gallon freezer bag with the following:
- 2 cups malbec (any dry red will do)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 carnations
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice of one tangelo
Ideally I would like to add:
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 slice star anise
- 1 vanilla pod, halved (no extract)
I then place a freezer bag full of wine, fruit and spices in a water bath set at 175 ℉ (which is between the two ChefSteps recommended temperatures for sous vide fruit ) for 45 minutes.
While the pears were sous-visible, I absorbed my enemy’s blood (wine splashing on my face and my “Music From Big Pink” shirt).
After 45 minutes of filming, I poked my pair of pears and was thrilled to find them soft and pliable. I chopped them up, sprinkled some Cool Whip (there was a container in the freezer that didn’t get the cherry salad ) and served them to Grandma. She liked them immensely.
And now it’s time for the last time in 2016 to ask our favorite question: Will fruits – especially pears cooked in wine – be sous vide?
Answer: Yes, they will, and they are pretty cute. These pears were warm and soft, but not mushy, and had deep, sweet, winey and spicy flavors. If I were to change anything, I would ditch the sugar a bit, but Grandma seemed to think they were sweet enough, so this is a matter of preference. In addition to being delightful, the ratio of impressions to stress in these children was extremely favorable in the direction of “impression.” There is hardly any cooking here, but I dare say this is the most elegant dessert to have right in your home as part of a New Years Eve set.
As a bonus, you also get a very tasty, sweet poaching liquid that hasn’t lost its ethanol due to the fact that it has nowhere to evaporate. It was too sweet for me to drink as it is, but it would be delicious to mix it with a cocktail and you can always turn it into pear syrup. Basically, sous vide pears, poached in wine, are a win in every way, especially if you have a corkscrew.