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Port-Poached Pears and Ricotta



– 3/4 cup pure maple syrup – 2 cups port wine – 2 whole pears, such as anjou or bosc, peeled and cored – 1 cup California ricotta cheese
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1. Place pears, port and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, turning pears occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let pears cool in poaching liquid. Remove pears from liquid. Cut a small slice about 1/4 inch thick from the rounded bottom of the pear so it will sit upright on the plate. Set aside. Place poaching liquid over medium-high heat and cook until it becomes thick and syrupy. Set aside and let cool. Cut each pear in half vertically.

2. For each serving, drizzle some of the reduced poaching liquid over an individual serving plate. Place one pear half on plate. Fill the pear cavity with 1/4-cup cheese. Reserve remaining poaching liquid for another use.