Welcome to my favourite time of year. The produce is abundant and cozy evenings with amazing dinners – family time is so important these days.
One of our favourite fruits is the humble pear – they never last long in our fruit bowl. This time of year they are abundant and local. For us, that means very local: the backyard.
For many years we poached pears in many different ways. The favourite for me is with red wine, although if you like it more subtle, white is a great way to go. The flavour agents such as ginger and cinnamon bring the pear to life.
When choosing your pears choose a firm but ripe pear. Bosc or Anjou pears are still the choice for poaching. They are firm enough to handle the process and hold together well. Poaching is simply letting the pears dance in the pot on just a simmer – no boiling, please! For the wine, some call for dessert wines but I think a red wine such as cabernet or even a shiraz if you enjoy the strong flavours, with peppery accents. Perfect with goat cheese.
Perfect pears are fabulous garnished with chocolate, whipped cream, ice cream, caramel, nuts or a really good cheese. Keep them in the fridge submersed in the poaching liquid until you are ready to serve. These are great to serve when company comes over as they can be done well in advance.
Enjoy the local fresh produce and bliss that is fall. Happy cooking!
Local Poached Pears
- 1L bottle red wine
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2” ginger, sliced
- 2 cloves
- 3 pepper corns
- 1 split vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract
- 6 peeled pears, remove the bottom core, stems on
- One piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the pot
Place wine, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, peppercorns, vanilla in a pot. Bring to a simmer and let the sugar dissolve.
Allow the liquid to come to room temperature. Add in the prepared pears, cover with parchment paper.
Bring the pears to a simmer. Cook the pears until they are tender and a knife will reach the middle without resistance.
Allow the pears to cool in the liquid. Store in the fridge until needed, although when serving they are best at room temperate.
Slice the pears to reveal a lovely contrast in colour. Garnish as you wish.