Poached fruits are great quick desserts and a good way to convert ho-hum fruits into something fantastically delicious. I love the basic sugar and water poaching for everyday dessert because it retains the taste and delicate flavor of the fruit and isn’t loaded with heavy aromas of spices or other ingredients but for special occasions or if I am in a little indulgent mood I add spices, wine, caramel sauce etc according to the mood of the day.
Poaching is done at any stage of ripeness of the fruit but if you have nice and firm juicy fruit it reduces the amount of sugar/honey to be added which is good.
There are a thousand ways one can enhance poached Pears by pairing them with different ingredients. On cold winter days this is one of my favorite desserts. So, how did this idea of poached Pears pop up suddenly. I am writing about the eroticism of cooking alone or for someone special or with someone special and the I think the elegance and sensuousness of perfectly poached warm pears with chilled vanilla ice cream or hot caramel sauce is unbeatable. Creating something in the kitchen for me is like making love, you need to give yourself to the ingredients and let them spin the magic for a perfect orgasmic experience of a well made dish. So here is the recipe for all of you to spice up and sweeten your winter days.
6 medium size firm plump ripe Pears of your choice
3/4 inch Ginger peeled and finely chopped
Spice mix – 4 cloves, 4 peppercorn, 2 all spice, 1 star anise (broken in half) , 1 cinnamon stick broken in half ( you can choose your own)
Honey – 2 Table spoon
Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon or one split vanilla bean
Sugar – 1/2 cup Sugar ( you can use sugar according to the sweetness of fruit and use part white and part brown sugar or entirely use brown sugar too. Don’t use honey if using brown sugar)
Water – Just enough to cover the pears. (About four cups should do)
For caramel Sauce –
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
A pinch of salt
Method For Poaching Pears:
Wash and peel pears. You can keep them whole or cut them in half from top to bottom. Keep the stems so you can pick them easily.
Scoop out the middle part with a melon scooper. ( if you are using whole pear scoop out the center from the bottom and cut it flat so it can stand on the plate.
Take a sauce pan and add water, sugar, add spices as it warms and bring to one boil. Squeeze lemon juice into it and remove the froth that comes up while boiling.
Add pears and cover the lid. Let it simmer on low heat now till the fruit becomes tender enough for the fork to pierce easily.
Add honey and vanilla essence at this stage and mix. ( if using vanilla bean add with spices)
Check for tenderness of the fruit and plate those which are done.
Once all the fruit is out on the plate or Bowl let the syrup thicken a little on low heat.
Pour the syrup over the pears along with the spices.
Take a heavy bottom pan and add sugar to it. Let it melt. Swirl the pan a few times so the sugar dissolves equally and doesn’t burn, add tap hot water to it and keep stirring till the syrup is amber gold in color. (Don’t over cook so the sugar will solidify) . Remove from heat when done. Warm the syrup when needed
Take out the poached fruit on a plate or in a bowl pour some warm syrup over them along with the spices. Serve with chocolate sponge cake or vanilla ice cream drizzled with generous amount of the luscious caramel syrup.
You can poach the pears in simple traditional sugar and water style or in red wine (I use Merlot or Shiraz) and it will fill your home with an irresistible aroma that will linger in your senses for a long time. Add/remove spices as you wish. Experiment with Jaggery instead of sugar. Serve plain or with chocolate/ caramel sauce. It tastes great with mint chocolate. I use After 8 for that. There is no limit to to what you can do. Go Indulge.
Enjoy this gorgeous treat and let me know the experience.