Tag Archives: pears

Cardamom and ginger poached pears

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I’m fussy about poaching pears. You have to be.

For a perfect poached pear there are rules to follow: I can think of seven.

Don’t go for heavily sugared poaching syrups – these must be avoided at all costs. Water enhanced with a little sugar, spice or citrus is just right and allows the natural flavour of the pears to shine through.

The pears must be firm but on their way to ripening. They should still be green but have a slight give when pressed firmly.

Prepare the syrup first so it comes to the boil BEFORE adding the fruit.

The syrup, once the fruit is added, must be kept to a simmer – one of soft bubbles just breaking the surface.

Watch over the pears as they poach – not like a hawk, more like a mother sneaking a peep on a sleeping baby.

And if the syrup gets too hot and begins to bubble too much, simply pull from the heat, till the syrup cools slightly, and return to a gentle simmer.

Once the pairs have become transparent, they are cooked. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool completely in the liquid.

I know, it’s fussy right?

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But then, the fuss pays off. And you have a bowl of glistening poached pears that can be eaten in so many ways, like with muesli or porridge, with yoghurt or ice cream, bake them in a crumble, serve them in a salad, eat them cold, or eat them warm; Serve them on a cheese platter.

Remember, never underestimate the fuss required for the prefect poached pear.

 

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Cardamon and ginger poached pears 

Ingredients

8 William pears – green but starting to soften

10 Cardamon pods, bruised

6-8cm piece of ginger, sliced into 1cm thick pieces

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 .5 litres water

1 small lemon

Heat 1 .5 litres water in a large pot, add cardamon pods, sliced ginger, sugar and lemon, stir and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, use a peeler to peel the pears. Cut pears into quarters, then use a small knife to remove the pips. Keep some of the stalks on the pears as these look great for presentation. Try to work quickly so pears don’t oxidise and turn brown.

When all the pears are prepared place them into the boiled syrup, turn down the heat, cover pears with a sheet of baking paper to weigh them down and poach on a low simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave pears to cool in syrup. Once cool, store in air tight containers for 1 week in the fridge. Eat cold or warm.

(C) Copy right Food From Michelle’s Kitchen 2016 Cardamom and ginger poached pears

Pear and Date Chutney

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Keeping homemade chutney in the pantry or fridge is like having a jar of flavour on hand. A good chutney is vinegary, slightly sweet, and subtly spiced. It should be cooked till it’s thick and coloured.

The simplicity of throwing everything in the pot, all at the one time, has me making this pear and date chutney time-and-time-again.

The possibilities are endless as to what you might serve this fruity pear and date chutney with. I love it with cheese – camembert, goats cheese, aged cheddar, basically any cheese, a strong blue is charming sweetened with a dollop of this chutney. Spread it on your favourite sandwich, smear it on fresh sourdough, eat it with double smoked ham. Last weekend, whilst on a yoga retreat, I served this pear and date chutney with chickpea and pumpkin fritters to the delight of all who ate them. There are no rules to what you can or can’t eat this sweet chutney with. I’d even be so bold as to say, have it with a spicy curry.

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Pear and Date Chutney

Ingredients

1.5 kg firm green pears

200g dried dates

4 roma tomato, diced

2 tbsp mustard seeds

5 cloves

3 star anise

2 tsp fine salt

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

Dice pears and place in a large heavy based pot, add dates and the remaining ingredients. Stir and place on the heat. Bring to the boil, cook at a medium – low  heat till chutney thickens and liquid evaporates – 50-60 minutes. Once chutney is cooked you can use a potato masher to slightly mash the pear, or leave as is for a chunkier version.

Spoon the hot chutney into sterilised jars. Seal the lid whilst chutney is still hot. Set aside to cool completely. Store in a dark cupboard for up to three months. Refrigerate after opening.