Victorian pears are in season! Yay!
With cooler weather fast approaching, ’tis the time of year when we our bodies start yearning for comfort foods. But before you rip out your pile of recipes for gluttonous desserts, give these poached pears a try. Utterly delicious, yet kind to the waistline… you will love them.
So often, when I have served these pears as dessert to my guests, I have seen a look of confusion and disappointment drift across their faces…as if to say… Where’s the cake???
But after their first bite, their faces tell another story. I hope you enjoy them as much as they do!!
Choose small, firm fruit for this recipe, as ripe pears tend to lose their shape easily when poached. When available, I like to use the Beurre Bosc pears, otherwise known as Kaiser or Brown pears.
The pears will keep in the fridge for a week or so, and are just a little more delicious if you allow the ingredients to infuse their flavours in the fridge overnight.
You will need:
5-6 small pears
1/2 cup sugar
Rind of 1 orange
assortment of whole spices such as cinnamon stick, cardamon pods, star anise, clove
1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or any other orange flavoured liqueur
Peel the pears and place into a pot. Fill with enough water to cover the pears. Add the sugar, orange peel and spices and bring to the boil.
Allow to poach gently for 30 minutes or until tender. Note: the cooking time may vary considerably due to the size and ripeness of the fruit. Care is needed so that the fruit doesn’t overcook and loose it’s shape.
Remove the fruit from the pot and allow the syrup for simmer down until it becomes viscous (approx 40 minutes) The syrup is ready once it changes to a light caramel colour and you see bubbles forming on the surface.
Allow to cool, then stir in the liqueur.
Pour the syrup over the pears.
Serve the pears warm or cold. Add a dollop of cream, custard or ice-cream for a little extra indulgence, or accompany them with some almond bread.