If you enjoy serving melon and prosciutto in the summer months, try this cold-weather version with fall fruits and spices. Use petite Forelle pears, if you can find them, because they are the perfect size, but Bosc or Red Bartlett works well, too. Buy the pears a touch under ripe, because you don’t want them to get too soft and fall apart when you cook them!
Poached Pear And Prosciutto Crostini
For The Pears:
- 2 cups grappa
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 whole cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 small Forelle, Bosc, or Red Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, and cored
For The Crostini:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 baguette
For The Ricotta Mixture:
- 1 15- ounce cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 12 thin slices prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Flakey sea salt, for topping
- For the pears, in a medium Dutch oven, combine 2 cups of water with the grappa, sugar, cloves, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, rosemary, orange zest and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to help dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully place the pears in the poaching liquid, cut-side down. Place a circle of parchment paper on top of the liquid to keep the pears submerged and continue to simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pears to cool completely in the liquid. Once completely cooled, cut each pear into thin slices.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a slight bias, slice the baguette into 1/4-inch slices. Brush the slices with the 1/4 cup olive oil, then place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crunchy, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, lemon zest, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and honey. Set aside.
- Once the crostini are cool, top each with 1 heaping tablespoon of ricotta mixture. Top with a few slices of the poached pear. Top with a few pieces of prosciutto, then drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of flakey sea salt.