**14 February 2012 Update: Thank you for the top 9 vote on Foodbuzz daily top 9**
Come winter the fruit choices go down hill. About the only decent looking fruits available are apples and pears. In a previous post I told you that for the most part I find apples a tad boring. Pears on the other hand are a fruit I hardly ever find boring. Pears are just sweet enough to satisfy both a fruit and sweet craving. I love eating them on their own, raw, as well as finding new and interesting ways of cooking with them. Okay, so I also like torturing my hubby with insane and unappetizing ways of cooking with pears. (Please refer to my Pears, Mushrooms and Spinach recipe. I do still wonder what the heck I was thinking.)
One very popular way of cooking pears is poaching. Poaching is a method of cooking food inside hot liquid for a short period. Poaching is somewhat of a new cooking method to me. Sure, I’ve poached a few eggs in my life but that’s about it. The little bit I’ve learned about poaching meats really grosses me out. Photos of poached chicken make me…you know what – blagh! Raise your hand if you like poached chicken? Now can you tell me if it tastes as gross as it looks? Just kidding guys.
Whilst munching on some succulent pear slices and perusing Foodgawker, I questioned myself on why I have never poached pears. Myself answered that just alone the word “poached” makes me shudder. Oh yeah. I told myself to get over it and consult “The Source” aka Google. Mr. Google (is Google male or female?) led me to David Lebovitz’s website. He, David, has a great article called “How to Poach Pears”. The article also has great information on which pear varieties are the best for cooking. David convinced me to give poaching a chance. So I got to work.
Being the wine enthusiast (or is it lush?) that I am, white wine was the poaching liquid of choice (only because I ran out of red). Some of you may remember that I don’t do overly sweet so the sugar was cut down, way down. If you haven’t ever noticed I really love my spices so I “Spiciefied” the liquid. I’m no poaching pear expert, actually up until now I was a poached pear virgin (blushing), so I suggest you read David’s article after you are done here. Okay enough jibber-jabber below is how I lost my poached pear “virginity”.
(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please contact me first. I don’t bite :) )
Spicie Poached Pears, dessert for 2
2 small Seckel pears*
1 1/2 cup sweet white wine, I used Muscat wine
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp. granulate sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 bruised green cardamom pods
4 whole black pepper corns
1/2 a small Lemon
*Bosc, Anjou and Bartlett are also great choices
dap of butter or vegan replacement
walnuts or almonds
1. Pour the wine, water, lemon juice and all of the spices into a deep pot. Simmer over low heat and do not allow liquid to come to a boil. In the mean time peel the pears, cut in half and cut out the center core. Place the pears in the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Make sure there is enough liquid and space for all the pears to be covered.
2. Remove the pears from the pot and set aside. Keep simmering the liquid until it thickens up a bit. Right before serving strain the liquid to remove the spices. Add a little nob of butter (or vegan replacement) on top of each pear half and pour the warm liquid over them. You can also sprinkle some walnuts over the pears if desired.
Even though I did not follow David’s recipe I do thank him for showing me that poaching can be fun. I can now say that I love poached pears, they tasted great! This being my first attempt I wasn’t planning on snapping any photos. But when I was finished they looked so good that I had to shoot a few. Please excuse the bad quality and I promise next poached pears will have better photos. Thank you everyone for stopping by and reading another edition of Sunday Snapshots.
Happy Sunday and see you tomorrow for another edition of My Favorite Foodies Series.