Sweet Polenta Pudding Topped with Red Wine-Poached Pears

Red wine-poached pears and polenta pudding is the perfect sweet combination to wrap up any Italian dinner.

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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 pear half and about 2/3 cup polenta
  • Makes: about 4-1/2 cups polenta
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins

Sweet Polenta Pudding Topped with Red Wine-Poached Pears

Directions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the orange in strips, being careful not to remove the white pith. In a 6-quart Dutch oven combine wine, the water, the 1/2 cup sugar, the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, and orange peel strips. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Using a large spoon or tongs, carefully add the pear halves to the wine mixture, making sure pears are submerged in the wine mixture. (Add additional wine if the pears are not entirely covered by liquid.) Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until pears are cooked but still firm, turning the pear halves every 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove pears from cooking liquid; set aside.
  3. Simmer the cooking liquid, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half (about 1-1/4 cups). Strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in butter until melted. Keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, for the polenta, in a large saucepan combine milk, the 3 tablespoons sugar, and the salt. Bring just to boiling. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Cook and stir for 5 to 10 minutes or until polenta is desired consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. To serve, spoon the polenta mixture into eight shallow dessert bowls. Top polenta in each bowl with a pear half, cored side up. Spoon the wine mixture over pears. Serve immediately.

From the Test Kitchen

Editor's Note:

Look for quick-cooking polenta for this recipe. If using coarse polenta, increase the cooking time to 30 to 40 minutes, stirring pretty constantly.

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Nutrition Facts (Sweet Polenta Pudding Topped with Red Wine-Poached Pears)

  • Per serving:
  • 480 kcal ,
  • 10 g fat
  • (6 g sat. fat ,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 2 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 27 mg chol. ,
  • 91 mg sodium ,
  • 81 g carb. ,
  • 7 g fiber ,
  • 46 g sugar ,
  • 8 g pro.
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