Suggested Pairings for Comice Pears

Comice pears are curvaceous orbs of sweetness colored bright green with accents of russet red.  More aromatic than it’s cousin’s the Anjou, Barlett and Bosc pears, the Comice has a unique texture that changes as it ripens.  Michael Engel, chef-owner of Pastiche Bistro and Wine Bar in Milwaukee is a true fan of the pear.  He rates the pear far and above it’s winter companion, the apple.  “Pears have a distinct mouth-feel,” he says. “Apples are kind of boring that way as they always feel the same. A pear will move within your mouth a little, and you’ll taste different things, just like a good wine.”

The complex  layers  of taste make pears, Comice pears especially, well-suited to pairings with many wines and cheeses. The  delicious and velvety, buttery flesh of the Comice is well-complemented by soft-ripening cheeses such as Havarti, Brie or Camembert.  Some palates  prefer the taste of a more pungent cheese with pears like Stilton, Blue, Italian, Gorgonzola or Roquefort.  The perfect accompaniment to the Comice and cheese would be a choice of roasted nuts such as  hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts .

A great way to complete a presentation of Comice pears, cheese and nuts is by using wine.  Many aficionados prefer the complexities of the Ruby Port when serving the pears with a salty, strong cheese like Stilton.  The rich and berry flavors from the port remain true well against the cheese and pair well with the Comice’s sweetness.  When served with Roquefort cheese, that may be characterized as  musty and sharp, a bold Sauternes that’s rich and tannic works well. 

A delicious approach to marry the flavors of Comice pears, cheese and wines are to begin by poaching the pears inside a rich red wine, adding some vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks and sugar.  Choose pears that are slightly underripe as an overripe Comice will turn to mush if poached.  Next, put pears and poaching liquid in a pot.  Place a plate over the pears to weigh them down inside the liquid.  Bring poaching liquid to a boil.  As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, quickly reduce the heat to low and allow the pears to lightly simmer  approximately  half an hour or until their texture  is that of a ripe plum.  Then remove the pot from the heat and allow the Comice pears to rest until they come to room temperature.  Pears may then be covered and refrigerated until you’re ready to fill them.  Remove the stems along with the core.  Fill the pears with a combination of whipped heavy cream and mascarpone cheese and enjoy!

This short article furnished by Pittman Davis, providing Texas grapefruit, Texas gifts, including citrus and grapefruit and baked gifts. Visit PittmanDavis.com.


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