Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Spiced Maple Poached Pears

So simple! So delicious! It seems like nowadays the hard part is finding the pears, even around here, surrounded as we are by orchards. But persevere - these are well worth while. 

6 to 8 servings
15 minutes prep time - 45 minutes total

6 to 8 small (1 kilogram; 2 pounds) bosc or Bartlett pears
2 cups water
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 to 6 pods green cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
OR 1 6" cinnamon stick
1/4 of a nutmeg, finely grated
2 or 3 tablespoons sherry or rum
OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Use ripe but firm pears. Peel them, cut them in half, and remove the cores. (If you want to be fancy, and your pears cooperate, you can leave them whole, excavating the cores from the bottom with a vegetable peeler.) Place them gently in a 2 quart pot, and add all the remaining ingredients except the sherry or rum (or vanilla).

Bring to a simmer and simmer steadily for 20 to 30 minutes,  until the pears are just tender. (But check them after 10 minutes - if they are very ripe they may cook faster.) Add the sherry or rum (or vanilla) and let cool. 

Serve as they are, or over pancakes, waffles, sponge or pound cake, custard, cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese, or whatever else seems good to you.

Last year at this time I made Mushroom & Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese.

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