Mad Men: Barbetta’s Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese

A review of Barbetta’s Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese from “The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.”

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Barbetta’s Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese

4985488089_dffd8d6bcb_o.0.0.1412354013.0SPOILER ALERT: This recipe is from Season 4, Episode 9, though I don’t think we actually see it in the show.  Don and Bethany are dining at the Barbetta, a restaurant in Manhattan, when Betty and her new husband, Henry, arrive.  Obviously, this makes things a little awkward!  The Barbetta shared this recipe with the creators of the Mad Men cookbook.

I’ve tried making poached pears before from the Game of Thrones cookbook, and it wasn’t a terribly exciting dish.  So to be honest, I was dragging my feet when it came to making this one.

20180921_202522First step is, of course, to wash and dry the pears.  Then I found a baking dish that could fit all four lying down and preheated the oven.

Red wine, sugar, cloves, lemon juice, and a cinnamon stick are combined, and then poured into the baking pan with the pears.

Then into the oven it all goes!20180921_213637

Every 10 minutes or so I brushed the wine mixture over the pears, for about an hour or so, until the skin just started to wrinkle.

Once the pears are done, they sit out until they cool to room temperature.  Wine sauce is poured over top before serving.

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Taste: 6/10

Exactly the same score as the last poached pears.  These were pretty good, but not outstanding.  And just like the last time, they mostly just tasted like plain pear.  I also think I probably could have baked them a bit longer, because they were still pretty solid.

Difficulty: Average20180921_221713

Washing pears is easy.  Mixing wine with herbs is easy.  Pouring it into the pan is easy.  Putting everything into the oven is easy.

Really, the only thing that bumps this up to average is keeping an eye on the pears once they’re in there and making sure you brush the pears with red wine sauce every 10 minutes.  I miscalculated how long they needed to be in – I think they could have stayed in longer.  But it’s difficult to tell!

Cost: Pricey

You’ll need a bottle of red wine, pears, and lemons.  You may also need to purchase sugar, cloves, and a cinnamon stick if you don’t already have them.

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