But it's a dull grey rainy day and I thought it would be nice to make a warm fruity pudding for Friday night supper. Nothing too heavy...so I made poached pears.
I used red grape juice rather than wine because I sometimes find it makes them taste a little bitter and sweetened them with honey and maple syrup. They were utterly delicious.
For four people you will need
- Four desert pears. They need to be ripe but not overly so as they will fall apart when cooked.
- Enough red grape juice to cover them in a saucepan.
- Sugar, honey or Maple syrup to sweeten. Some recipes require 300g to a bottle of wine for this amount of pears. I think that would be a little too much for me, especially if I've selected a sweet variety of pears. So it's important to add to your own taste.
- A small piece of cinnamon.
- The seeds from one cardamom pod.
- A little piece of fresh rosemay. Not too much, it can make the syrup taste soapy if you're heavy-handed with it!
- Arrowroot to thicken
- Peel the pears leaving the stalks in tact. Take a thin slice off the bottom of each one so that they will stand up when served.
- Place in a saucepan and cover with red grape juice.
- Add the sugar or honey, cinnamon, rosemary and cardamom seeds. Bring the juice to the boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer. Leave until the pears are tender but still whole. This will vary depending on the size, and ripeness, of the pears. Test by inserting the tip of a pointed knife into the flesh.
- Remove the pears with a slotted spoon so that any excess sauce drains into the pan, and place on one or more serving dishes. You can decorate by inserting a sprig of rosemary into the top if you like. If you decide to, it's best to remove the stalk when peeling.
- Continue cooking the sauce so that it reduces.
- Mix a little arrowroot with cold water or more grape juice. Add this to the cooking sauce to thicken, stirring continuously.
- Pour the sauce over the pear, and pool onto the plate.
- Serve with vanilla ice-cream, custard or yoghurt.
Because it's grey and rainy I served this with custard rather than ice-cream, which only helped to add to the nursery comfort food feel even more.
...mmm...I think I'll be making this a lot this winter...
...especially on grey, rainy days...