Cute, crunchy and sweet, seckel pears, which are indigenous to Pennsylvania, are showing up at the Union Square Farmers Market this week. This adorable dwarf-size fruit features a delicious creamy white flesh underneath a gorgeous reddish-brown blushed light green exterior.
I personally enjoy seckel pears fresh for their crunchy texture and natural sweetness. However, if you are looking to prepare seckel pears for a sweet fall treat, you may consider poaching them in red wine, where the seckel pear juice beautifully infuses with sweet spices and vanilla to create a deep rich red wine sauce.
If you do not have seckel pears, this recipe works very well with the bosc pear variety.
SPICY RED WINE POACHED SECKEL PEARS
- 2 pounds seckel pears
- 1 bottle medium-bodied red wine, such as merlot or pinot noir
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Peel the seckel pears, keeping the stems in-tact.
- In a large pot, preferably enameled cast iron, combine the wine, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and bay leaf (if using). Scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod, and add both beans and vanilla pod into the pot. Bring the wine mixture to a light simmer, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Gently drop in the pears, one by one. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the pears are tender.
- Allow the pears and wine sauce to cool down, before refrigerating. Serve cold or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.