Pears Baked in Red Wine alla Piemontese
Thanks to Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin, authors of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men (Smart Pop, 2011) for sharing this elegant Mad Men-inspired dessert with us.
Recipe credit: Barbetta Restaurant, New York, NY
Photo credit: Nina Gallant
Season 4, Episode 8
“The Summer Man”
After Bethany van Nuys, one of Don Draper’s post-separation dates, complains that the Benihana Steak House isn’t very intimate, their next evening out is at Barbetta, an elegant Piemontese restaurant on West 46th Street. We see Don and Bethany looking over the menu but we never hear them order or see their food. So, we asked Laura Maioglio, Barbetta’s current owner and the daughter of the restaurant’s founder Sebastiano, what she would have recommended for a romantic dinner for two in 1962.
For dessert she recommended pears baked in red wine alla Piemontese which also first appeared on Barbetta’s menu in 1962, and would have been the perfect way for Don and Bethany to keep the warmth of the evening going. Once you try Barbetta’s pears baked in red wine alla Piemontese you may agree that no pear has ever given its life for a better cause.
- 6 ripe Bosc USA Pears
- 2 cups red wine
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash and dry pears. Place pears in a baking pan that accommodates 6 pears (lay them flat). In a small bowl, pour the red wine and add sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture into the baking pan and place in oven. Turn pears after 5 minutes and brush with liquid in pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour (cooking time may vary depending on size and ripeness of pears), continuing to brush the pears every 10 minutes. Pears should be slightly crinkly. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve with extra red wine sauce.
yield: 6 servings