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Almond Champagne Poached Pears with Almond Whipped Cream

Fresh pears poached in almond champagne make for an elegant and low-maintenance dessert.

  • Yield: 4 poached pears 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Almond Champagne Poached Pears

  • 1 (750 mL) bottle (about 3 cups) almond champagne*
  • 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) water
  • 10 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar), divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 pears (on the firm side, I used Green Anjou)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Almond Whipped Cream**

  • 4 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Almond Champagne Poached Pears

  1. Combine the champagne, water, and 7 ounces (1 cup) sugar in a medium saucepan (you want to use one just large enough to contain the liquid and the pears so the pears will be fully submerged). Add the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisk to combine. Drop in the vanilla bean pod. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally as mixture warms up.
  2. Meanwhile, core pears from the bottom (a melon baller works well here) and peel skin. Transfer to the saucepan and reduce heat as needed to maintain a simmer. Place a smaller pot lid over pears to keep submerged in liquids. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, turning pears every few minutes to ensure they cook evenly, until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork or blunt knife. Use a slotted spoon to remove from saucepan and transfer to a lidded container.
  3. Strain the remaining liquids through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer back to the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until liquid has reduced to about 1/3-1/4 of the original amount. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Pour over pears in container and refrigerate, or, if serving immediately, transfer pears to serving glasses/bowls and pour some syrup into each. Make whipped cream just before serving.

Almond Whipped Cream

  1. Add the cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or other bowl if using a handheld electric mixer) and add vanilla bean seeds. Beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Reduce speed to low and add sugar and almond extract. Increase speed and continue to beat just until whipped cream can hold its shape.
  2. Dollop whipped cream into each serving glass/bowl and top with sliced almonds if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

*If you can't find almond champagne you could easily use another champagne in this recipe.

**If you want to be extra-generous with the whipped cream, you could double the amount. :)