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Champagne-Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate Sabayon & Pistachio Brittle

A holiday meal wouldn't be complete without a little bubbly. Serve a beloved dessert — poached pears — with a few 5-star upgrades. Set the stage with a dreamy dark chocolate sabayon sauce, made by whisking together egg yolks, wine, and chocolate for an incredibly creamy custard. Then finish the dessert off with a stained glass-like pistachio brittle.

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For the pears, combine Champagne, sugar, cardamom, ginger, and peppercorns in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, add pears, and simmer, turning frequently, until tender and cooked through, 40–45 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let pears cool in liquid.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

For the brittle, heat sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan over medium-high to a boil without agitating, then swirl pan and cook until mixture turns deep golden brown, 6–7 minutes. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with pistachios. Cool brittle completely, then break into pieces.

For the sabayon, whisk together yolks and sugar in a stainless steel bowl until blended. Whisk in Champagne, cream, and salt. Place bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure bowl does not touch water. Cook sabayon, whisking constantly, until sauce is thick and volume almost doubles, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan, add chocolate, and whisk until smooth.

Divide sabayon between serving dishes, nestle pears on top, and serve with brittle.


For an elegant presentation, peel pears vertically and trim bottoms to create a sturdy base for serving.

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