The secret to poaching pears is slow, careful cooking and a good-quality Sauternes like Chateau Liot or a California equivalent.
Carefully scoop out the cores of the pears with a melon bailer or a small spoon.
Put the Sauternes, simple syrup, water, orange and lemon peel, cinnamon stick, salt, and lemon juice in a medium-sized nonaluminum pot. Bring the liquid to a boil.
Reduce the heat so that the liquid is simmering and add the pear halves. Cover the pears with a clean dish towel or plate to completely submerge them in the liquid. Simmer for about 20 minutes, just until the pears can be pierced easily with a small knife.
Transfer the pears to a bowl and cool them over an ice bath. Return the liquid to the stove and reduce it over medium-high heat until it begins to get slightly syrupy. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Cool the syrup. (The sauce will get thicker as it cools.)
Put the walnuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and finely grind them. Combine all of the other ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip the cream mixture until it begins to thicken but has not yet reached soft peaks. Add all but
Arrange 2 pear halves, flat side up, on each plate and fill each with
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