Anyone who has read this blog for any number of time knows that I love spending hours in the kitchen. Baking, in particular – I love rolling up my sleeves and attacking an unfamiliar recipe with gusto, watching with nervous anticipation to see whether it turns out. Nearly all the time, I revel in the process of turning flour, eggs, butter and sugar into some wonderfully soft and fluffy creation, but sometimes…well, the idea just doesn’t thrill me.
A bit of a problem, really, if I feel like something sweet but there’s nothing in the house (we don’t store bought cookies/chocolates/sweets in our home, so the only sweets we have are the ones that I make). If I’m feeling a bit too tired or drained, then it’s most likely that I’ll just go without fulfilling my sugar craving, grumbling as I complain to myself about the lack of desserty goodness in the fridge.
One such occasion arose awhile ago. I’d gone grocery shopping with the intent on making a black forest cake, but after getting home and unpacking the groceries, for some reason I just completely lost my steam.
(Insert picture of deflating balloon here – I’d draw one, but I’m feeling a bit lost for artistic inspiration for a doodle)
Luckily, I’d also picked up a few beurre bosc pears whilst I was out – a complete impulse buy, and whilst they definitely weren’t the best specimens I’d ever seen, I figured that I might give this fruit poaching business a go sometime and chucked ‘em into my trolley without another thought. So, as I sighed and gazed upon my basket of baking supplies, my eyes wandered over to the bagged pears sitting in the fruit basket, and I decided what the heck! Today would be the beginning of my poaching adventures!
I had a look on the internet for how this poaching should go about, and other than the measurements, the basic standard appeared to be poaching in a vanilla syrup. Vanilla sounded like a good starting point, but I wanted something a bit more…well, spiced, so I decided to mix things up a bit with some ginger and clove to add a bit more flavour
The poaching worked marvellously! The pears became delightfully soft, with just a little sweetness that was freshened by the ginger, the clove adding another level to the flavour of the fruit and syrup (which, if I may say, I was sorely tempted to drink by itself! Num!)
So now that I’ve poached me some pears, I’m just waiting for some peaches and nectarines to appear so I can try poaching those next!
Clove, Ginger & Vanilla Poached Pears
4 ripe beurre bosc pears
4 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1″ (2.5cm) length of fresh ginger, finely sliced
Ice cream or custard, to serve
1. Prepare the pears by levelling the bottom so they can stand upright, then peel (but make sure to leave the stems intact). Submerge the pears in a bowl of water with the lemon juice to stop discoloration, then set aside for now. Cut out a circle of baking paper the same size as the mouth of your pot.
2. Meanwhile, pour the water, sugar, ginger and cloves into a pot with high sides, then split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and add them and the pods to the water.
3. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to the boil, occasionally stirring till the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the pears cover them with the circle of baking paper then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 15-20 mins, or till they can be poked through to the centre quite easily with a fork.
4. Carefully remove the pears and set them onto a dish to cool, then strain the poaching liquid into a container and leave to cool separately. Once both the pears and the poaching liquid have cooled, the pears can be stored in the liquid in the fridge till needed.
5. Plate each of the pears seperately, spoon a little of the poaching liquid over the top and serve with some custard or ice cream of your choice
[tags]poached pears, beurre bosc, fruit, poaching, recipes, sweets, desserts[/tags]