Allergies : Great Tasting Allergy Free Dessert

Why do the Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospital chefs want to show you how to make Poached Pears in Red Wine with a Balsamic Glaze reduction? Partly because it is great tasting but another reason is that it is a nearly allergen free dessert recipe. It avoids all of the eight foods that cause ninety percent of all food related allergic reactions. Those foods are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Even if you have no food allergy concerns, you will want to try this recipe from Chefs Pete McGahey of Beverly Hospital and Dave Gauvin of Addison Gilbert.

To start, you want a firm pear because after poaching it will become soft but you do not want it to loose its' shape by becoming mushy. Gauvin shows how to prepare the pears by peeling and removing the core. One trick, slice the bottom of the pear to make it flat so that it will stand up straight. Keeping the stem on top is all part of the presentation when it is served.

After prepping the pears, place them in a pan covered by 1 glass of wine and two cups of water. Add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar and simmer for about an hour. Gauvin uses brown sugar because he likes the way it has retains some of the molasses flavor and thinks it is good for the recipe.

While pears are poaching, make the Balsamic Glaze. Gauvin says that you will not need a lot of the Balsamic Glaze reduction since it has a strong flavor. Just add about 1 and 1/2 cups of Balsamic to a shallow pan, add a couple of more tablespoons of brown sugar and reduce over low heat until thick.

Place a poached pear onto a plate, sitting on the flat bottom, and drizzle the Balsamic Glaze right over the top of the pear. Unless your food allergy prohibits you from great tasting food you will have no problems with these pears.

As Gaulkin says; "It does not include any dairy products, it is cooked simply and tastes great!"

Pears in Red Wine


3 pears, firm (i.e. Bosch)

1 glass (8 ounces) red wine, dry

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups of water

For the Balsamic Glaze:

1 to 11/2 cups Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar


1. Peel and core pear, making sure to leave the stem intact. Slice the bottom of the pear so that it is flat and is able to sit evenly.

2. Place pear into a saucepan and add wine, brown sugar and water.

3. Let simmer for about an hour, until softened but not mushy.

To serve, remove pears to plate and sit on the flat bottom. Spoon and drizzle a small amount of Balsamic Sauce over pear and serve.

For the Balsamic Glaze:

1. Add Balsamic and brown sugar into a small saucepan and let simmer until reduced by two-thirds.

Recipe courtesy of Chefs Pete McGahey and David Gauvin, Unidine, Beverly Hospital and Adam Gilbert Hospital, 2012.

(c)2012 the Gloucester Daily Times (Gloucester, Mass.)

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