I always thought it was too hard to make poached pears at home. Whenever I saw them in photographs or on TV, they looked so fancy-schmancy, their sweet bodies grown fat, having gorged on more spicy-sweet goodness. I thought it was the stuff of high-end restaurants, that only top-class chefs can make perfectly. That’s why I never read the recipe for making some, whenever I came across it on a blog or elsewhere. I was so wrong!
A few days ago, I bought some pears at our local departmental store, and since, began noticing poached pear recipes everywhere. I ignored them a couple of times, and then read one out of sheer curiosity. It sounded so very simple – nothing complicated in it. I looked up several more recipes for poached pears on the net and, though all of them suggested a different way of doing it, all of them were simple. I can try it out, of course, I thought. They looked too delicious to not even give a try at making them. So, that is how we came to have a poached pear yesterday night for dessert, post dinner. It took me barely 15 minutes to make, and tasted beautiful. Proof that not everything that looks fancy-schmancy is actually fancy-schmancy.
I used bits and pieces from different recipes I found on the internet to come up with my own technique of making it. Honestly, there is no right or wrong way – there are hundreds of ways in which this can be done. The recipe I used was based on the ingredients I had readily available at home.
Here’s how I made my poached pear:
1 large pear, peeled, with the seeds removed – you can either choose to keep it whole or cut it up. I cut it up into large pieces, leaving the stems on, so as to be able to eat them easily. Choose one that it ripe and juicy, but not overly ripe and squishy.
Sugar to taste
A few drops of vanilla essence
A pinch of salt
About 2 tablespoons of honey
A small piece of ginger, peeled and grated very finely
4 pods of cardamom
A 1-inch piece of cinnamon, broken into two
Juice of half a lemon
Water, just enough to cover the pears in a deep-bottomed pan
1. Break open the cardamom pods. Drop the cardamom, grated ginger, cinnamon and cloves into the water and heat it in a deep-bottomed vessel till it boils.
2. Add the salt, sugar and honey to the boiling water.
3. Drop the pear pieces into the water at this stage. Reduce the flame, and cook covered till the pears get soft. Keep stirring once in a while.
4. When the pears are almost cooked through, add the vanilla essence and lemon juice to the pears. Mix well.
5. Cook covered till the pears are fully done. The syrup will thicken a bit.
Serve hot or cold, depending on your taste, after spooning the syrup over the poached pears. You can choose to serve this with ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or chocolate syrup, too. We let it cool down a bit and ate it just like that. Gorgeousness!
Have you ever had a poached pear? Have you ever tried making it at home?