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Poached Pears in White Wine with Star Anise and Vanilla…

October 18, 2009

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When I looked at the date of my last post I couldn’t believe its been almost a month! Thats shocking. Things have been so busy! I wrote my pastry exam last week monday and I’ll prob get the results tmrw, so really nervous, but its more like nervous excitement! I thought it went well. Even though I haven’t been posting, I have been baking! So much actually that I realised I can’t post about it all now, that would be like spamming my own blog! But its been really awesome and I’m learning alot! Especially at work, like dropping a cheesecake facedown onto the counter in front of a customer is really embarrassing! He he (at least my boss laughed!) And I’ve also learnt that I LOVE cookbooks! Reading recipes just makes me happy:) And I guess I’ve got alot of happiness coming my way since I bought 4 today!

Which is where the poached pears come in… In one of the new books, Lazy Days : Contemporary Country-Style Cooking by Phillippa Cheifitz there was a recipe for poached pears. We made them in class a while ago, but I wanted to try them out on my own. And its a really easy dessert to make and so delicious! The cool thing is you can give it just about any flavour you want, so I chose star anise and vanilla. They fit so well together and left the kitchen smelling awesome! And so and hour and one burnt finger later (yes, clumsiness reigns in my kitchen, just ask the cheesecake)…

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I was in a bit of a rush near the end so the custard was a little lumpy, but it still tasted good and the pears were the main attraction anyway!

Wine-Poached Pears…

  • 8 medium-sized pears
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (brown or white)
  • 3 cups dry red or white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Optional flavourings…

  • 4 cloves
  • 2 or 3 star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • grating of nutmeg
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves

Peel the pears, leaving the stalks on, and remove the cores with a melon-baller. (Optional) Place pears in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice after peeling to stop them from going brown. Place all ingredients except the pears into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add any optional flavourings, if using, and then the pears. Place a round of greaseproof paper directly onto the surface to keep the pears submerged. Simmer for 15 min or until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Note: if the pears are not completely submerged in the liquid, turn them after half the time to ensure even colour)

Turn off the heat and allow them to cool down, covered, in the poaching liquid. Remove pears and reduce the poaching liquid over high heat for 5-10 min or until syrupy. Pour the reduced glaze over the pears and allow to cool, then chill well.

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