Poached Pears Stuffed with Creamy Gorgonzola
These poached pears are the perfect holiday dessert - if you prefer a non-alcoholic alternative, feel free to poach them in cranberry juice instead of Port wine. You can even serve these in margarita glasses, topped with toasted almonds and fresh mint for an extra special presentation.
*For Yogurt Cheese: Using a yogurt cheese maker or layered cheese cloth, strain the whey from yogurt for 3-6 hours in the refrigerator. This should yield 2 cups of yogurt cheese. Reserve.
Combine port, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peel strips in a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add pears and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and simmer until pears are tender, turning pears occasionally, about 40 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to platter and chill.
Over high-heat, boil liquid in pot until it reduces to 1 1/2 cups, about 20-25 minutes. Reserve the resulting syrup.
While syrup is reducing, combine yogurt cheese, confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and crumbled gorgonzola, mixing gently. Slice the tops off of the chilled pears and fill each pear with the yogurt cheese and gorgonzola mixture. Divide the pears among 6 shallow bowls, top with reduced syrup and toasted almonds, and serve chilled.