Senin, 28 Januari 2008

Light and delicious pears poached in ginger syrup

An Estonian blog friend of mine recenly asked me for light dessert recommendations, and I instantly suggested these ginger-infused pears. You see, one of my Christmas hits was pears poached in mulled wine (you can see a photo here, which were inspired by a similar dessert I learnt to make during my internship at Restaurant Stenhus, photo here), and although I've never really liked poached fruit much before, I enjoyed these a lot. I think I made them thrice in December. But we've had too many Christmassy flavours going on the table recently, plus I knew she had tried these already :)

So I suggested these ginger infused pears instead. Ginger - an ingredient that gingerly sneaked into my kitchen cupboard only few years ago - is playing a star role in this dessert. Easy to make, easy to serve, easy to eat and easy to like.

I used Comice pears, as these have the prettiest shape for poaching, I think. But you can use any good sized and firm pear.

Pears poached in ginger syrup
(Hõrgud ingveripirnid)
Serves 4, can be easily doubled

Photo by K.

4 hard pears, stems intact
a thumb-sized piece of root ginger
500 ml (2 cups) of water
250 grams sugar (or less, if you prefer)

Take a small saucepan large enough to just fit the pears. Measure out the water and sugar, and stir the sugar into the water until dissolved.
Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices, add to the saucepan.
Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. Cut off a small slice from the base of the pears, so they would stand upright.
Place the pears into the saucepan - the liquid should just cover them.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently on a low heat for about an hour, until the pears are soft (test for doneness with a small sharp knife).
Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the ginger syrup*.
Serve with softly whipped cream, softened curd cheese (on the photo) or melting vanilla ice cream.

* You can reduce the syrup and serve with ice cream, pancakes or ginger cake.

More poached pears? Try these:
Poached pears with maple syrup (The Perfect Pantry)
Pears Poached in Saffron Vanilla Bean Syrup (Figs with Bri)
Poached pears with spiced granitè and honey (Sweet Pleasure/Plaisir sucré)
Poached pears with cinnamon, vanilla and lemon and Red Wine Poached Pears (Cook (almost) Anything)
Chai-Poached Pears (Fresh Approach Cooking)
Poached Pears in Raspberry Sauce (FatFree Vegan Kitchen)
Ginger & Cardamom Poached Pears (Gluten-Free Bay)
Wine-Poached Pears with Juniper (Cooking with the Single Guy)
Pears Poached in Spiced Wine (Morsels and Musings)
Poached Pears with maple syrup and candied ginger (Cooking with Amy)
Poached Pears with Poached Spiced Figs (The Wednesday Chef)
Poached Pears with Sticky Vanilla-Orange Cream (Lex Culinaria)
Wine-Poached Pears (use real butter)