This luscious recipe features iconic flavors of Oregon: Pinot noir, pear, hazelnuts and of course, world champion Rogue River Blue. Enjoy the best Oregon has to offer in complex flavors and well-paired textures.
Preparation/cooking time: 1 hour
- 1 bottle/750 ml Oregon Pinot Noir
- 3 Bosc pears, peeled (leave stems attached)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 8 oz. Rogue River Blue at room temperature
Note: This is more then you’ll need for the recipe, but you’ll want to snack on it while you’re preparing the pears, trust me!
- To start, you’ll want to select pears that are just beginning to ripen and aren’t too ripe, as you want a firm texture that will hold up to a gentle poach in the wine. If the pears are too far ripe, they will break down too much during cooking and won’t retain their structure.
- Begin by delicately peeling the pears from stem to bottom, while trying to keep the elegant form of the pears intact.
- Place the pears in a 2 or 3 quart sauce pan (depending on the size of the pears) along with the wine, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves. Make sure the pears are fully submerged in the wine to their stems. Additional wine may be needed, or even a little water can be added.
- Bring the pot up to a low simmer and gently poach the pears for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer can be easily inserted into the pears with little resistance.
- Gently remove the pears from the poaching liquid to a plate and let cool a bit before handling.
- Continue to let the wine mixture reduce in the pan by bringing it up to a vigorous simmer/low boil until reduced to approximately 3/4 cup (6oz.)
- As the wine is reducing and the pears are cool enough to handle, slice the pears in half lengthwise (stem to bottom) with a sharp knife. Try to slice through the stem and keep it intact as it will make for a more dramatic presentation!
- Once all three pears are split, using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop-out the hard core (imagine an avocado with its pit removed).
- Spread the finely chopped and toasted hazelnuts on a plate in a thin layer, then gently press the still warm pears cut side down into the hazelnuts to coat.
- Strain the wine reduction, then evenly distribute the wine syrup on six dessert plates and place the hazelnut coated pears cut side up.
- Using a small cookie scoop or melon baller, scoop approximately 2 to 3 Tbsp of the Rogue Creamery blue cheese of your choice into the cavity and finish with a twist of fresh cracked black pepper.