Monday, January 28, 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)


Lydia said...

I love poached pears -- I'm partial to all fruit desserts, really. But pears always look so elegant at the end of a meal. Pear and ginger is a delicious combination, too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love anything with pears, Pille - what a delicious dessert!

Pam said...

I love poached pears, but have never tried it with ginger. It sounds like the perfect pairing.

Andrew said...

I've developed a thing for ginger recently... interesting combo

thepassionatecook said...

beautiful picture... i made poached pears in red wine some time ago and still haven't blogged about it - where is time going? no lemon meringue pie this time?

katiez said...

I love pears with ginger!
I particularly like the flower behind it...makes me feel almost spring-like!

swirlingnotions said...

Thank you! This will surely help with my resolution of "eat at least one piece of fruit per day." :-)

Judy said...

The pears sound really delicious, especially with the ginger. I will have to try it out.

Inne said...

I'm not a big fan of poached fruits myself, but those pears look really yummy.
p.s. I loved all the different gingerbreads you did last month!

Cinnamonda said...

Pears and ginger, I think I must try this!

Jasmine said...

Put me in the poached pear fan club, please.


Pille said...

Lydia – there was a poached pear recipe in the February/March issue of Regal, a really cool French food magazine we’re subscribing to, so I’ll be making another poached pear recipe soon..

Patricia Scarpin – I’ve been more of an apple person until now, as they’re more easily available and tend to be local. But pears might just make it there, too..

Pam – pears and ginger go well together indeed.

Andrew – interesting indeed, but more importantly, a delicious combo!

Johanna – I loved the pears poached in red (mulled) wine, too. And no, I’m no daring baker this month, but a disorganised and lazy baker, at most…

Katie – well, on a sunny Sunday afternoon it did feel like spring like. Now it’s grey and snowy outside, so definitely very wintry :)

Swirlingnotions – ooo, I don’t know if syrup-poached fruit counts any more? Hope so :)

Judy – please do!

Inne – thank you! Did you try any of the gingerbread cookies yourself?

Cinnamonda – I agree :)

Jasmine – oh, it’s so nice to see you back in the blogosphere!!! You were missed, you know. Hope you’re doing well…

Mila Kahlon said...

Hi! I loved discovering your site! Your recipes are so simple and unintimidating! I saved the recipes for the bread and cream pudding, the olive & tomato chicken and the salmon with mustard - will be trying them out this weekend! Thank you! My blog, in case you are interested, is
Take care! Mila

Rachael said...

Pille, that picture is like a still life painting! So beautiful, and just crying out to be made...

Just lovely!