Pearfect Pears - just too many
6 pears 1 stick cinnamon
Red wine Pinch of Ginger
Peel, core and halve the pears. Place them in a pan in a single layer, and pour in enough red wine to cover them, (no need to use the best claret, a wine sold by the litre will do). Add two tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon and the ginger. Cover and simmer until the pears are done. Remove them to a dish with a perforated spoon and keep them hot. Boil down their cooking liquor until it is slightly syrupy. Taste it from time to time, and put in more sugar if you like -- the flavour should be fairly strong, and sweet, but not oversweet. Pour, boiling, over the pears and leave to cool. Don't strain out of the cinnamon stick: it adds to the appearance as well as the flavour of the dish.
A mediaeval recipe which was usually made with Wardens or cooking pears. They were as hard as quinces and were first boiled until just tender, in water. This is not necessary with the pears we buy today, though the hint might be useful if you have a tree of cooking pears.
Adapted from English Food -- Jane Grigson - long out of print and she is no longer alive, but any book of hers on cooking is well worth reading, she writes to a literate and educated audience.
Azul’s Variations: --
1) Try and find pears with some flavour…Bartlett do O.K. and the fact that they are normally sold somewhat unripe is a bonus in this case!
2) Throw in a clove (or two), and a little more ginger even a tiny pinch of Nutmeg.
3) Use less red wine, ¾ bottle?, so that the pears are only half way covered and simmer very slowly in an open pan, turning them occasionally, thus the liquid reduces and the pears soften simultaneously. (The fragrant smell in the house is awesome).
4) Serve with freshly whipped fluffy cream. Mmmm.
Yours are probably gone by now....but made this pear galette last night; turned out pretty good. Pear desserts are a nice alternative to apple, and can be made any time of year. More delicate flavor and texture.
Preheat oven to 400.
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 t salt
1 T sugar
8 T cold grated sweet butter, frozen for a few minutes
4-5 T ice water
Place dry ingredients in a bowl or processor and mix well. Cut in very cold butter with a pastry blender or by several quick pulses. Butter should be still coarse 1/4" chunks. Moisten with water gently, bring together to form a disk, , wrap in plastic, refrigerate till cold but not rock hard. While dough chills, make filling:
Peel and slice 3 large or 4 medium sized ripe pears (I used an Anjou type) Place in large bowl, drizzle with 2 tsp lemon juice. In a small bowl, place 1/4 t. cinnamon, 1 tsp. fresh finely grated ginger, 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest. add 2 tsp honey and heat in microwavet till bubbling. Stir well and pour over pear slices. toss to coat well. Using a tea strainer, dust 1 T flour over slices, tossing to distribute. Set aside.
Roll dough on floured board to 14" circle, 1/4" thick. Drape dough circle over rolling pin and lift to transfer to a rimmed cookie sheet. Place pears in the center of the dough circle, mounding slightly, and fold up the 1 1/2" border of uncovered dough towards the fruit, leaving the center uncovered. Brush off any flour clumped on egdes of dough (from rolling), brush pastry with cream or milk, and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes till dough is set, then cover with a sheet of foil the same size as galette, bake another 15-20 minutes till crust is brown and filling bubbly. Remove sheet to a cooling rack for 10 minutes before cutting. Great with vanilla bean ice cream.
on another post/thread about the same recipe, a fellow chowhounder had made 1.5 times the original recipe when using a 9" pan. i made this today using the original recipe but had only a 9" pan - it came out quite flat, like a flan, but still very nice and was a hit - i also cut the sugar by 1/4 cup. i didnt worry about spreading the batter out to the edge of the pan: i just plopped the batter into the centre of the round pan, then pushed slices of pear into it starting at the centre and let the batter just spread on its own....the top did not brown too much and next time i would bake it for 30-35 minutes rather than the 40 min i did tonite. this is definitely a keeper...
For a low-calorie treatment, I simply cook them with cinnamon, without water since they make plenty of sauce themselves. They don't have to get really soft--they can be firm chunks depending on the size I cut them to. The juice thickens and gets sticky. I put it in jars or freeze it in containers for pouring hot over cold cottage cheese with a topping of chopped walnuts--breakfast sundaes! If they get mushy I simply press them into pear sauce. Good that way too.
This sounds like the perfect time to revive Galleygirl's Pear Tart. Here's the recipe, which was posted a couple of years ago and is a 'hound favorite:
on Oct 14, 2004 galleygirl replied
This is my father's all-time favorite dessert...I got it from a chef-friend of mine, named Laurie....She calls it a Pear Tart, but it's more like a dense, rich, buttery cake, made heavy by the pear juice that infuses it...Don't overcook; it's even better the next day!
Laurie's Pear Tart
3 or 4 ripe juicey pears....
Peel,core and cut into sixths, or eighths
1 stick butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, one at a time...
1 c. flour
1 teasoon baking powder
1/2 t. salt...
Add to butter mixture.
Spray an 8" (important) spring form pan with Pam...Spread the batter in it..Now, in a pinwheel pattern, press the slices of pear, peeled side up, into the batter...Cram in as many as you can; since the batter rises and covers the pears, there's no points given for style here(g)...The more pears, the moister the cake will be.
Bake at 350 degrees til a skewer comes out clean, about an hour...If you have any doubts, UNDERBAKE....This is a whole different animal if it dries out...Then it's just a cake; correctly done, you'll love it...It's just one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of it's parts. really. Ask my Dad...;)