Caramel cider-poached pears

Caramel cider-poached pears

By
From
Paris Pastry Club
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

I like to make these poached pears in the morning with plenty of time to cook them into tender bites and, perhaps, read a book with a side of wool blanket and some sort of caffeinated drink.

It seems to me that cooled-down poached pears and ever-so-slightlytoo- hot Sticky Toffee Pudding are kindred spirits. Of the opposite kind. Just like that boy you had a crush on in high school. But to be fair, they also make a decent dessert or goûter (snack), when still warm in their juices and placed whole on a plate, with a good measure of vanilla ice-cream. (Because, let’s face it, everything sort of tastes better à la mode.)

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
350g caster sugar
60g butter, cubed
350g pear cider
500g water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested
1 vanilla pod, with its seeds
4 small pears, peeled

Method

  1. Put the sugar in a large pan set over medium heat and stir continuously until it starts to melt. The sugar might clump together – don’t worry, just keep stirring. I find a whisk does a marvellous job on caramels as the sugar will eventually melt when it reaches the right temperature. As you keep stirring, the sugar will slowly turn into liquid gold. Who said making caramel was hard?
  2. When it reaches a deep amber tint, remove from the heat and carefully add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, stirring with the whisk after each addition.
  3. Add the pear cider and water – it will splash and spit so make sure you back away for a few seconds before slowly stirring as it bubbles away. Place back over a medium heat and bring to the boil to dissolve any bits of caramel that might have seized.
  4. Add the cinnamon sticks, orange zest, vanilla pod and seeds and the pears. Cover with a cartouche – a piece of baking paper cut to the diameter of your pan, with a small hole in the centre to let the steam escape.
  5. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until you can insert a knife into the pears without any resistance.
  6. The pears will keep for a week chilled in their poaching liquid. To reheat, simply put them back in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts and the liquid starts to bubble around the edges.
Tags:
Paris Pastry Club
Fanny
Zanotti
French
Paris
Parisian
baking
baker
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