These Cabernet Pear & Custard Desserts can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. And yeah – two days before Mothers’ Day! You won’t have to cut and serve cake on individual plates ’cause it’s all done ahead of time. Everyone will love it! Blessings to all my moms!
Active prep time: 30-40 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 to 3 hours (for custard to set & chill in refrigerator)
Ingredients for the Custard:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 cups whole or low fat milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1. In a 2 to 4-quart saucepot set on a cold stove burner, stir cornstarch and sugar until blended.
2. Gradually (a little at a time) and with a wooden spoon, stir in milk, salt and vanilla extract.
3. Transfer 1 cup milk mixture to a small bowl and whisk in the egg yolks until uniform,.
4. Pour the milk-egg yolk mixture into the saucepot and whisk until blended.
5. Set stove burner on medium-high heat.
6. Cook custard mixture, stirring constantly, until steam rises. To prevent scorching, lower heat to medium.
7. When custard reaches a boil, set heat on low and stir for 1 minute until it thickens.
8. Set saucepot with custard on a trivet on counter – divide custard evenly among four small glass or porcelain bowls. Immediately cover each custard bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and set – about 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, poach pears in wine-
Ingredients for the Pears:
750 ml (1 bottle) Cabernet Sauvignon wine
2/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 pears (any variety)
1. In an 8 to 10-quart saucepot, bring the wine to a boil.
2. When wine boils, stir in the sugar. Immediately lower heat to medium or medium high so that the wine simmers.
3. Simmer-boil wine until it reduces by half – about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. When wine has reduced, peel pears and cut them in half (lengthwise).
5. Core the pear halves and gently add them (hollow-side down) to the simmering wine.
6. Cook pears for 3 to 4 minutes. After 3 to 4 minutes, using 2 forks, gently turn them over.
7. Cook pears for an additional 1 to 3 minutes. After 1 minute, check doneness by inserting pointed knife in center of one pear – it should feel tender but not overcooked. If needed, cook pears 1 to 2 more minutes.
8. When pears are done, using a flat, slotted spoon, gently transfer them to a dinner plate; set aside to cool completely. Pears can be made one day ahead, covered in plastic wrap and chilled in refrigerator overnight. For Chantilly Cream-
NOTE: IF BUYING PRE-MADE WHIPPING CREAM IN A CAN, OMIT THE FOLLOWING RECIPE
Ingredients for Chantilly Cream
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
pastry bag fitted with a star tip
1. Pour whipping cream into a 4-cup mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour cream in mixer bowl.
2. Using a handheld mixer or in stand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
3. With mixer running, add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until lumps dissolve. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, according to taste. Set the Chantilly Cream aside in a small bowl, covered, in refrigerator until ready to garnish the dessert.
Assemble the Pear & Custard Desserts:
1. Transfer the custard bowls to a counter or work surface.
2. Gently dry each pear half with paper towels (on both sides).
3. Place one pear half, hollow side down, in center top of each custard dessert. Set aside.
4. If using store-bought whipped cream, decorate the pear-custard bowls around the edges of custard.
5. For homemade Chantilly Cream garnish, transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
6. Make single rosettes with cream, side by side, around edges of custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the desserts.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real