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POACHED PEARS for DESSERT
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Poached Pears for Dessert
For a lovely, refreshing and easy dessert, try poaching some pears.
Now, this isn’t as easy as opening a can of pears, I grant you that, but whole fresh, firm pears are relatively easy to carry (choose Bartlett, Bosc pears or similar) and the flavour and texture will be well worth the little extra effort for something special.
How to Pick a Pear
Pears are one of the few fruits that are actually much better when picked before they're ripe.
Mature pears that are picked while still green ripen slowly.
Pears ripen from the inside out, so as soon as the stem end has a slight give to it when gently pressed, the fruit is ripe.
And buy firm pears.
Bartlett pears are large bell-shaped pears, like Anjous. They're yellow-green in color and may develop a red blush as they ripen.
Bosc pears have a distinctive, elegant shape: a long, slender neck and yellow-brown skin. They are the best pears for poaching, as they keep their shape when cooked.
Lemon, Ginger and Tea Poached Pears
Serves 4 – 6 (depending how many pears you use and the size of the pears)
These pears can be served on their own, or with some ice cream or cream for a dessert; or with yogurt for breakfast. They are absolutely delicious!
2 cups water
2 to 3 green tea bags (use whatever green tea bags you have – I found some flavoured with jasmine and pear – they added that extra something to the syrup)
2 lemons – juice and zest (with a peeler – not grated)
2-inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and sliced (not too thin – it’s just to flavour the syrup)
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tblspns honey
4 to 6 pears (suitable for poaching) – peeled. If they are really large, then cut into half and remove the core; if small, then you can leave them whole.
Place the water in a pan large enough to hold the pears.
Don’t have the pan too big; you want the syrup to almost cover the pears if possible.
Bring the water to near boiling point, then add the tea bags, lemon peel and juice, ginger, sugar and honey and stir to combine.
Simmer gently for a few minutes.
Add the prepared pears and place a sheet of baking paper on top, pushing it gently down over the top of the pears to form a cover. This helps the syrup to bubble over the pears, and stops the pears from floating to the surface of the syrup.
Put on the lid, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the pears are tender.
Poaching time will depend on the size of the pears you are using.
Spoon the syrup over the pears a few times during the cooking process and gently roll the pears around (especially if the syrup isn’t enough to cover them).
Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the pears to cool in the syrup.
Serve warm, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Vanilla and Saffron Pears
These are really yummy
Serves 4 - 8, but any left are delicious served on top of your favourite breakfast cereal, or again for desert another night.
8 pears (peeled)
4 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (try one first and see how sweet you want it)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Pinch of saffron threads
1 slice ginger
2 x small pieces lemon rind
Place the pears, water, sugar, vanilla bean, saffron, ginger and lemon rind into a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook as instructions above until the pears are tender (20 to 30 mins), turning occasionally.
Refrigerate in syrup till cool or serve warm with some of the syrup and some cream of ice cream.
Viv's Hint: Add some lemon liquer, such as Lemoncillo for some added flavour!!
Poached Pears in Cider
2 Cinnamon Sticks
4 Whole Cloves
4 Allspice Berries
1 1/4 cups, or 1 x 300ml bottle/can of *dry sparkling cider
1 1/3 cups sugar (more or less to taste)
4 pears (suitable for poaching) – peeled. If they are really large, then cut into half and remove the core; if small, then you can leave them whole.
Place the cinnamon, cloves and allspice loosely into a muslin bag or a small square of chux dish cloth or similar and secure.(Or, just put them in whole, and remove before serving.)
Place the spice bag into a saucepan (large enough to fit the pears).
Add the cider and sugar.
Bring just to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the prepared pears and place a sheet of baking paper on top, pushing it gently down over the top of the pears to form a cover.
Put on the lid, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the pears are tender. Poaching time will depend on the size of the pears you are using.
Remove from heat and leave to steep in the liquor for at least 20 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled.
Viv's hint: *try using one of the many flavoured ciders that are now available on the market, such as a pear cider.
For more pear recipes, check out the web site ‘Rediscover the Pear’ (Australian Pears – Horticulture Australia Ltd) - it has plenty of recipes using pears to choose from: http://www.rediscoverthepear.com.au/delicious-serving-ideas/
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http://www.guidebooks.com.au/Viv Moon camping and food essentials.pdf
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