i've been craving poached pears lately. it must be my stomach's winter solution to a summer stone fruit dessert. i realize that many people might not exactly be excited by this idea but really, they're super easy and versatile. in this instance they were dessert but they just as easily could have been a snack or yummy breakfast paired with granola and yogurt (my original plan...)
the opportunity to actually make these guys presented itself as a celebratory brunch where a "warm" dessert was requested. perfect! i had never actually poached a pear myself, so there were some nerves involved in the group effort that came to be. we ended up slicing the pears in half and placing them face up in a baking dish. then we mixed together red wine, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, fresh grated ginger and nutmeg, and poured it over the top. it may be argued that the pears were actually baked and not poached, since they weren't completely immersed in the cooking liquid. i'm going to claim that it was a combination of the two. since the stove was already too crowded during brunch preparation, the oven had to do.
it might also be argued that i should have started with the pears face down--at least these are the things i think about. when i decided to stop stressing about it, the pears were face up in the baking dish. you should probably flip the pears at some point, or at least cover them (neither of which we did) but they still tasted damn good. another one of those almost fool proof and impressive items.
closer to my original vision: poached pear with granola and yogurt at anella, before they changed chefs. don't even go trying to find this thing. sadly, it no longer exists.