Pear and Honey Risotto
12 ounces Bosc pears (about 2 small pears), peeled and cut into 1/2-to-3/4 inch cubes (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 cups water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups skim milk
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Combine the pears, water, and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside.
Scald the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. While stirring vigorously, slowly add 1 cup of the milk and the cinnamon stick.
When the milk has been mostly absorbed and small craters dot the surface, add another 1/2 cup of milk. Stir and bring back to a simmer. Continue to add the remaining milk 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition.
With the last addition, stir in the wine, honey, raisins, and vanilla. Drain and add the pears. Continue to cook and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is creamy. Remove the cinnamon stick and fold in the orange zest. Preparation of this risotto should take 28 to 30 minutes from the first addition of milk.
Serve 2/3 cup to each person, hot or at room temperature.