There are two different kinds of people. Some like it sweet and some like it salty. I’m a salty kind of guy. I don’t turn my nose up at desserts, but if I had to choose between a sweet dessert and savory meal or snack, I will 9 times out of 10 pick the salty one. Which is why, there haven’t been any desserts on the blog so far. I simply don’t make any usually. Besides the fact that I am a terrible baker. When I do make a dessert, though, I tend to stick within my comfort zone and do something that doesn’t involve too much measuring.That is one of the reasons I love this autumn spice poached pear with amaretto zabaglione recipe. Plus, it tastes awesome! It isn’t too sweet unless you choose to make it that way. It feels very decadent with the spices, the syrup and the eggy, creamy zabaglione sauce (pronounced zah-bah-lyon-ee). But it is actually quite simple to make. Especially if you plan to make some of it ahead of time.
The zabaglione sauce is an egg yolk based sauce that is whisked while cooking to create an airy, rich sauce that can be made savory or sweet. Most of the time you will see the sweet version. It isn’t hard to make but is the more complicated part of the recipe and shouldn’t be done too far ahead of time. Start, then, with the poached pear.
As usual, measurements will be in the recipe box below. In a medium saucepan, add some sugar, water, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom over medium heat. Bring it to a boil. While you wait, peel a just about rip pear and core it from the bottom so it stays whole. You don’t want to use a very ripe pear here since it will kind of fall apart and become mushy. But, it shouldn’t be too hard either.
Place it in the pan and turn heat to low and let it simmer there for about 15 minutes or longer if needed. Gently poke it with a sharp paring knife. If it slides right in, it’s done. If it resists it needs more time. Remove it when it is cooked and let the poaching liquid slowly reduce to a syrup. You may need about 40 minutes or more before it is done. That’s why it is a good idea to do this ahead.
No more than 30 minutes before you want to serve, make the zabaglione. You might be able to stretch it to longer than 30 minutes if you refrigerate it, but it might break on you. Put a pot filled with about 4 inches of water on a high heat and bring the water to a boil. Once it is boiling turn it down to medium to get it to a gentle simmer. Get a metal mixing bowl and put your egg yolks, Amaretto and sugar in and whisk it up for a second. Then put the pan over the boiling water. This is called a double boiler or a Bain Marie. Keep whisking and it will go from frothy to thickened in just a few seconds. Every 30 seconds or so you should take it off the boiler and keep whisking to keep it from curdling. Once it is thick then you are almost done. Keep whisking until it reaches a loose pudding consistency. Once it can keep it coats the back of a spoon and doesn’t run off, it is done. Start to finish you’re looking at about 2-3 minutes.
You can plate it however you like, but I put the pear on the zabaglione and drizzle the poaching syrup over the top and sprinkle with some sliced almonds. I had some chocolate ganache in the freezer so I decided to drizzle some over the top, as well. Feel free to leave it off, though. I didn’t think it added much to the dessert. With or without the chocolate, you have a light and delicious dessert. In a word, elegant! Guaranteed to impress!
If you like this dessert, stay tuned for more. I will be adding some soon. Make sure you subscribe to the e-mail list. You will see a form below to sign up. That way you will get all the new recipes every week so you don’t miss any.
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- 2 pears, peeled and cored
- 5 cups of water
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons red wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- For the Zabaglione
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
- 1½ tablespoons of sugar
- Place sugar, wine and spices with the water into a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and place pears into the pan.
- Gently simmer for about 15 minutes or until a paring knife easily slides in when poked.
- Remove pears and chill.
- Let the poaching liquid reduce to a syrup the consistency of honey. About 30-40 minutes.
- Let cool. (Don't forget that the syrup will thicken when it cools)
- -30 minutes before serving, place a pot with about 4 inches of water over high heat and bring water to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium. Water should be at a gentle simmer.
- Place a metal mixing bowl over the pot with the egg yolks, Amaretto and sugar and immediately whisk.
- Continue to whisk and let the mixture thicken, taking the bowl off the heat every 30 seconds or so.
- Once the consistency is about that of a loose custard, it is done. About 3 minutes from start to finish.
- Let the zabaglione cool to room temperature or in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
- Spoon the zabaglione onto a place, place pear on the sauce and drizzle with the poaching syrup, and sprinkle with sliced almonds.