Sunday, 25 December 2011

Festivities and Christmas Spices

I am making a Christmas comeback with a few recipes and menus from the festive period. It is Christmas Day today and I have opened my presents already, since in Finland we do it on Christmas Eve. We spent Christmas Eve at my uncle's and the food was delicious. I was reminded how terribly good Russian blinis are and that I really need to start learning the old family herring and baltic herring recipies.

I was left with the dessert as always. On previous Christmases I have been making quite conventional desserts - Christmas Spiced Cheesecake, Red Berry Parfait, Cranachan, etc. I will surely be sharing these recipies at some point too, but this Christmas I decided to make a dessert I have never made before. I have been experimenting with making my own glögi - Finnish mulled wine. Getting into the groove of spicing up red wine with cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, cardamon and all that, I made it into a dessert. This recipe of Poached Mulled Pears is not original in any way, since there are tons of similar recipies out there. However, this is how I made it yesterday and I might say that it was a success.


1/2 bottle of red wine (I used Merlot)
100 g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
A few strips of lemon peel
3 tbsp orange juice
4 pears, peeled

Peel the pears and slice the bottoms off. In a large saucepan, combine the red wine, sugar and the spices. Bring to boil until sugar dissolves and bring to simmer. Add the pears to the saucepan and poach them for 30-45 minutes. Turn them once in a while so they get evenly coated. Turn off the heat and let the pears cool down before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

I am in the middle of making Balsamic Red Cabbage which is one of my winter warmer favourites. It is one of theeasiest side dishes to make, although it takes a bit of time. I will be taking it with me this afternoon when going to my grandparents' for Christmas Day lunch.

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