Merlot Poached Pears with Low-Fat Cherry Amaretti Frozen Yogurt

Poached Pear and Cherry Frozen Yogurt

  • Average Rating: (4 / 5)
  • Serves: 2 + extra yogurt
  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Ready In: 3:20 h


  • Pears:
  • 2 small Bartlett pears, firm
  • 1 ½ cups Merlot wine
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • Peel of 1 orange (peel left in tact, not zested)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Frozen Yogurt:
  • 1 pound frozen dark cherries, defrosted
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup 4% plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup coarsely crushed amaretti cookies + 1/4 cup for serving


Step 1

Pears: Carefully peel the pears, leaving the stem visible, if possible.

Step 2

Cut out a circular piece of parchment paper the diameter of a small saucepot.

Step 3

Fill the saucepot with the wine and water, and simmer over medium-low heat.

Step 4

Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean and add them to the saucepot along with the residual vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, cardamom, start anise, orange peel and honey. Carefully add the pears into the liquid, and rest the cut-out parchment paper on top of the liquid.

Step 5

Simmer for 25 minutes until a knife can be easily inserted into the bottom.

Step 6

Transfer the pears to a sealable container and strain the poaching liquid over top of the pears, discarding the spices and solids. Allow the pears to sit in the fridge (turning the pears occasionally) until ready to serve (the longer they sit, the sweeter they will become).

Step 7

Pour the poaching liquid into a small saucepan, and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced in volume by half, and has a very syrupy consistency. Swirl in the butter and set aside until ready to serve..

Step 8

Yogurt: Toss the cherries with the sugar in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring every so often.

Step 9

Transfer the cherries and their juice to a blender. Add both yogurts and the fresh lemon juice. Puree in the machine until the mixture is smooth.

Step 10

Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to its instructions. Once the frozen yogurt looks relatively semi-solid in the ice cream maker, stir in the 1/2 cup of crushed cookies, then transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.

Step 11

Assembly: Divide a few scoops of the frozen yogurt into serving dishes. Top with a generous sprinkling of amaretti cookies, nestle in the poached pear and drizzle a spoonful of the reduced red wine syrup on top.

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