Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recipe 28: Autumnal Apples & Pears Mulled Wine

A lighter and more autumn-y take than my spicier & more robust mulled wine from last year, I concocted this version for a friend's pre-Thanksgiving/housewarming potluck celebration this past weekend - partly because it was going to be rainy (warm cocktail would be a major plus) and there were more than a dozen attendees (so I'd much rather do a batched cocktail rather than making individual ones) and because I was late to RSVP, and almost all the other appropriate food dishes (from appetizers to sides to desserts) have already been spoken for, but no one took the cocktail slot. What better way to show off my amateurish mixing abilities, or how much of a lush I am.

Mulled Wine
And, actually I'd consider a "new & improved" version of the mulled wine. It still has the bite of the sweet spices (maybe even a little more so, since I used fresh ginger this time,) balanced with the breezy fruitiness of apples and pears (which I kicked up another notch with apple juice & pear liqueur.) Plus, being a slow cooker recipe, it's one you can have simmering throughout the party and just have guests ladle away.

So without further ado...

Apples & Pears Slow Cooker Mulled Wine

Ingredients (for approx. 15 5 oz. servings)
1 cup water
1 cup apple juice
1 cup pear brandy or liqueur (I used Mathilde's Poire), separated in 2 half-cup portions
1.5 cups sugar
2 medium apples (I used Jonagolds), 
2 medium pears (I used Boscs)
1 medium lemon
3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, rinsed and cut to 1/8-inch thick pieces
4 star anise pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 bottles of light, dry white wine (I used Fresh & Easy's Ora Pinot Grigio, discounted @ $3.99 a bottle when I bought it)

Preparing the apple n pear spiced syrup (can be done night ahead)
Simmering Syrup
1. Combine apple juice and water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil.
2. Add sugar and stir vigorously until combined, then add ginger slices, star anise pods, cinnamon sticks, ground allspice and nutmeg.
3. Reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and add half a cup of pear liqueur. Proceed to making mulled wine or store in the fridge.

Making the mulled wine
1. In a six-quart (or larger) slow cooker, combine spiced syrup, 2 bottles of wine and the juice of 1 lemon. Set the slow cooker to a low setting, which is usually just below alcohol's boiling point. (if you want, you can strain out the spices from the syrup at this time, but I left them in to amp up the spiciness & fragrance as the slow cooker heats it up...)
2. While the mulled wine is heating up, rinse, core and chop the apples and pears into thin pieces/slices/wedges. Add to slow cooker, cover it and allow to heat for approximately an hour.
3. Add the remaining half-cup of pear liqueur just before serving. You can leave it on the low setting, or dial it down to the "keep warm" setting, for the duration of serving.


Banana Wonder said...

this looks and sounds so good. never had white mulled wine and pear brandy... i feel a peargasm comin on!

Alexander said...

I love it when experiments turn out so well!

Kai said...

Hi!! I'm making this right now. Can't believe it is so easy to make!


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