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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Poached Pears in White Wine and Vanilla


Pears are in season now and are the most beautiful dessert. They are easy and light and with the addition of the sweet syrup just enough to satisfy.
I am not a fan of heavy desserts, particularly in winter after a usually hearty main.
They can be poached the day before, or the morning of, if entertaining.
Serve them with whipped cream, ice cream, mascarpone sweetened with a little icing sugar, cream and lemon curd for a change and an almond tule or crostini. In fact any crunchy little biscuit would be yum. Chocolate sauce is also a beautiful addition if you want something richer.
Great cleansing dessert after a spicy Thai or Indian, not traditional of course, but perfect just the same.
You must use a vanilla bean, no vanilla essence, it is never the same.


6  firm unripe pears ( I like brown bosc ) choose pretty shaped fruit that stands up if you can, with stalk intact
2 cups water
2 cups white wine
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean with the seeds scraped out
zest of a lemon

Peel pears with a vegetable peeler leaving the stalk .
Simmer all of the above ingredients until the sugar has dissolved and stand the pears upright in the liquid. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. About  1 1/2 to 2 hours for the cooking time is good, but it will vary depending on the variety and ripeness of the pears.  It will take at least 30 minutes and if you have pears that are ripe and feel they are cooked or starting to fall apart remove from the syrup and let the syrup reduce down a little more.
Top up with more water if necessary.
The syrup can be used to poach any fruit and can be kept in the refrigerator in a clean glass jar for months.



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