Pere Al Forno Con Sapa (Baked Pears with Sapa)

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Title: Pere Al Forno Con Sapa (Baked Pears with Sapa)
Yield: 1 Servings


6 Pears, peeled, halved, and
2 lg Lemons, grated and juiced.
1 tb Sweet butter for buttering
-the baking dish
1/2 ts Cinnamon

We had some people for dinner the other night and I cooked up a great
dessert from The Splendid Table by Lynne Kaspar, which is a collection of
recipes from Emiglia-Romana. (Published by Morrow, a few years ago.) You
make a cooking syrup first, and then bake the pears. I decided to try the
dessert because I wanted to try the syrup, which the cookbook called a
sapa. Besides, chopping up the grapes and letting them sit for a few days
made me think they might start to ferment. How romantic. I'd be making a
kind of pre-wine.

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the baking dish (or two dishes, if
you have to)

2. Put the pears in a bowl and stir them around with the lemon juice. This
keeps the pears from turning brown during cooking.

3. Place the pears and lemon juice in the baking dish, cut side down.
Sprinkle the cinnamon and lemon zest over the pears. Place in the oven and
bake until the pears are tender, about an hour. Every fifteen or twenty
minutes pour one-third cup of the sapa over the pears. In all you want to
use one cup of the sapa.

4. If the pan juices are too runny, pour them off and reduce them over high
heat until they thicken. Pour back over the pears. Serve the pears warm or
at room temperature, along with the rest of the sapa in the pitcher.
Garnish with small bunches of red grapes, if you wish.

By this time, the sapa had mellowed and the result was exceptional. It's a
classic Italian dish--simple, elegant, wonderful, full of flavour. Long
live Italian cooking. I used the rest of the sapa as a) a quick syrup to
pour over ice cream one night and b) to cook yet more pears a few nights
later. My husband wanted to try some of the sapa on his cereal in the
morning, but we'd used it all up by that time. But it doesn't sound like a
very good idea. Anyone interested in Italian cooking should look into The
Splendid Table. Although of course Marcella Hazen's books are the starting
point for all serious lovers of la cucina italiana.

Posted to FOODWINE Digest 24 Jan 97 by "David L. Rados"
on Jan 25, 1997.