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Wine-Poached Pear Croustades with Ice Cream
Wine-Poached Pear Croustades with Ice Cream
Print Recipe Wine-Poached Pear Croustades with Ice Cream
Servings: 6 people


  • cups red wine, such as Merlot
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 18 whole black peppercorns
  • Two 6-by-1-inch strips orange zest (colored part of peel, removed with a zester and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger with its juices
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 firm but ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, cored, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • water
  • cornstarch
  • Six ½ -inch-thick slices Very Lemony Pound Cake, or you can purchase lemon or plain pound cake
  • Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, softened slightly
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  • In a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stir together the wine, orange juice, sugar, peppercorns, orange zest, ginger, cardamom and bay leaf until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the pears, lower the heat, partially cover the pan and gently simmer the pears, turning them once or twice, until they are just tender ad can be pierced easily with a knife, 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours or overnight for convenience. 
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a plate. Strain the liquid into a small, nonreactive saucepan; discard the solids. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook the poaching liquid briskly until it is reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the water and corn starch together and then whisk into the poaching liquid. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. 
  • Lightly toast the pound cake slices and cut them in half diagonally. Thinly slice the pears lengthwise. Arrange 2 pound cake triangles and 1 sliced pear half on each of 6 plates or bowls. Top each with a small scoop of ice cream, drizzle generously with the sauce, and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over all. Serve immediately.