Monday 30 April 2007
Recipe: 'Poached' Pear with Rosemary & Honey
Although I've called this 'Poached' pear, in fact the process is more one of steaming, since the pears are never immersed in the cooking liquid. This means that none of the flavour is lost from the pear into the poaching liquid, but instead runs down into the syrup in the base of the pan, which is then spooned back over the pears when it comes to serve them. The combination of Rosemary and Vanilla is sublime, and is taken from a spectacular Bruno Loubet recipe for apple tarts with Strega and Rosemary.
Ingredients: 2 large ripe Pears; 1 tablespoon runny Honey; 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary; 1 teaspoon of good quality Vanilla Essence (you can go to the lengths of using the contents of half a vanilla pod instead, but I'm not sure it repays the extra cost or effort in this instance); half a cup of Water.
1. Peel the Pears. If they will stand vertically in the pan, that's fine; if not, take a fine sliver off the base of each Pear to ensure that they will stand upright.
2. Pour the Water into the pan, around the base of the Pears. Add to the Water the Vanilla Essence and the Sprigs of Rosemary. Dribble half a tablespoon of Honey over the top of each Pear.
3. Over high heat, bring the liquid to a boil, and then immediately reduce it to a simmer. Put a lid on the pan, and simmer until the Pears are tender - this will vary depending upon their level of ripeness, if properly ripe it should take only 15 minutes, if less ripe, expect the process to take more like 30-40 minutes. Test fore done-ness with the tip of a knife: if the knife slides in easily, the Pears are done; if the knife encounters resistance, they need more time.
4. Remove the cooked Pears to individual serving bowls, and if necessary boil the remaining liquid to a syrup consistency. More probably, it will already be at this stage, and no further reduction will be necessary. Spoon the syrup over the Pears, and allow first to cool, and then place in the fridge to chill before serving.