With the holidays approaching, we start out to think of gatherings with family and friends and particular meals to celebrate the occasion. While the Thanksgiving dinner is special, it also may be an over indulgent occasion. We decisive to focus on a light, sweet ending to this classic meal. As pumpkin pie is dense, we kicked around other options, including pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin crème brule. We liked the idea of pumpkin crème brule paired with a French Sauterne dessert wine, but thought it is elaborated to make and a little heavy to finish off a huge meal. So, we settled on a pear fruit tart and an Italian Moscato dessert wine, to offer a light, sweet ending to this holiday feast.
Dessert wines are prized as they are invented in littler quantities and are more pricey to make. They are served chilled and sipped in littler glasses containing 2 ounces of indulgent heaven (six 2 oz. portions per 375 ml bottle). They are developed allround the world, including wines from Sauternes, Barsac, Alsace and Anjou-Saumur in France, the Auslese and Eiswein (Ice) wines of Germany and Austria, late harvest wines from California and New York state, Ice wines of Canada, Australia’s “Stickies” dessert wines and Hungary’s great dessert wine Tokay Aszu. Dessert wines may vary in weight and sweetness level from light to ultra sweet wines that coat your taste buds like liquid honey.
Throughout the world, there are a assortment of ways to manufacture sweet dessert wines, from picking the grapes late (late harvest wines) to permitting a fungal rot to form (botrytis) to permitting the grapes to be frozen (ice wines) to adding scoops of raisins to increase sugar levels (Tokays).
The Asti region of northwest Italy is home to Moscato D’Asti. This Italian dessert wine is in general a limited, little production wine made from premium grapes. It is a low alcohol wine that is somewhat fizzy, lightly sweet and fruity. They are meant to be consumed after each harvest, so watch for the dates on the bottles. As they are not as sweet as Sauternes, Ausleses and Ice Wines, they may be sipped from a regular sized wine glass. Moscatos offer apricot, peach and pear notes. A quality, fresh Moscato in truth bursts with the smell of apricots when it is original opened. These wines work well as an afternoon beverage or for a light dessert pairing.
Food and Wine Pairing
A key rule to do not forget in a successful pairing is that the dessert wine ought to always be sweeter than the dessert. If not, the dessert will in truth over power the dessert wine.
With our goal of finishing a huge Thanksgiving meal with a light dessert, it was essential to pair this dish with a lighter, somewhat sweeter dessert wine. With the pear notes found in both the Moscato D’Asti wine and the pear tart, we found this pairing to work well and hope you receive pleasure from this pairing.
This is the season where our amusement turns to the gathering of friends and family in our homes. We want to prepare quality feed but simplicity is the key. This is a very simple, rustic dessert recipe that takes in regards to 1 ½ hours of cooking time but very little prep time. It does require an ovenproof skillet or well seasoned cast-iron skillet. The primary recipe calls for homemade puff pastry. I use frozen puff pastry sheets which is fast and the quality is not compromised. This tart is a wondrous finish to a heavy Thanksgiving meal or perfective after-theatre dessert served with a lightly sweet Italian Moscatos.
Rustic Upside-Down Pear Tart
5 Each Ripe Pears
6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
½ tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Allspice
1 Each Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry
Wash pears, cut in half and remove stems and seeds. In a 10 – 12″ ovenproof or cast-iron skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar – mixture will be a little pasty. Arrange pears, cut side up in the skillet. Mix together the cinnamon and allspice and sprinkle over the pears. Cook the pears uncovered over very low heat, without stirring until the sugar forms a deep golden caramel – when it comes to 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool pears in the skillet.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place frozen sheet of puff pastry over the cooked pears, covering completely. Tuck in any edges around the pears. Bake in middle of the oven until pastry is golden brown, regarding 30 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let sit for 3 – 5 minutes to let the syrup settle.
Using a rimmed serving plate more or less more prominent than the skillet, invert the plate over the skillet. Keeping the plate and skillet with resolute determination pressed together, invert the tart onto the plate. This is requiring little effort than it sounds! Serve tart at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.
Bill’s Wine Picks (with suggested retails)
Lighter, sweet Italian Moscato D’Astis :
Michelle Chiarlo’s Nivole $14
Stefano Ceretto $19
Medium sweet dessert wines:
Brillo Riella Moscato D’Asti $9
Santa Julia Tardio – Argentina $12
Very sweet dessert wines:
Chateau Doisy-Vedrines French Sauterne $17
Kracher Auslese – German Late Harvest $22
Chateau Suduirant – French Sauterne $30