Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poached Pears, Grape Jelly and CSA

It's nice opening the door to a box full of fresh produce! We receive a box every Friday laden with different local and seasonal organic fruits.  We used to get a mixed box of vegetables and fruits but decided that we prefer to buy our vegetables from Trader Joe's since we can pick and choose what we want. Avocados and tomatoes are considered fruits so we are happy to find them inside the boxes at the moment. Amelia happened to ask for an avocado when we heard the knock at our door and low and behold a single avocado was waiting inside the box for her. She was one happy girl.

There have been quite a few pears in our CSA box that we couldn't keep up with so I decided to make a dessert with them. I chose a warm winter pear dessert. Poached pears in red wine sauce stuffed with goat cheese! What?! Yep. It was good.

Poached Pears

4 ripe pears
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Goat Cheese Filling

3/4 cup goat cheese
2 Tablespoons sugar or to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix goat cheese, vanilla and sugar together until smooth, set aside. Peel and core pears leaving the stems on. Stuff the goat cheese mixture into the hollowed out pears.
 Mix the red wine, sugar and cinnamon stick together in a sauce pan. Add all 4 pears to the wine mixture and bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to a simmer. Constantly and carefully rotate the pears on their sides to coat them in the wine mixture. Poach until tender. About 10-15 minutes. You can remove the pears and continue to simmer the wine sauce until it becomes syrupy or serve immediately.

I've been canning off and on throughout this year. Pickled garlic, grape jelly sweetened with local honey, apple peel jelly and sweet pickle relish. If and when my tomato crop comes in I want to make tomato jam. 

I just followed the directions on the No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin box to make grape jelly with 100% bottled juice and honey.  I added 3/4 cup of sugar but I think it needed a whole cup. This is a quick and inexpensive way to make grape jelly if you do not have concord grape vines.  My dad planted concord grape vines at the farm house several years ago and each year they produce plenty of grapes to eat on and make fresh grape jelly.

The next step is to make Mulled Apple Cider Jelly with apple peels and cores. It will taste like Autumn.