Pears

All posts tagged Pears

Apple and pear crumble with almond and star anise

Published September 13, 2015 by Storm

I’m used to the idea of foraging for autumn berries, foraging for orchard fruits is a new one to me! A recent trip on the local canal saw my Dad and I picking pears that were overhanging the water; small, crisp and slightly tart, these were an unexpected bonus to a pleasant day out.

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When a neighbour gave me a bagful of very sweet windfall apples I felt I had the perfect combination for an autumnal crumble. I used my smallest diameter casserole dish, which is 6.5 inches, for an 8 inch casserole dish increase the quantities by 50%.

For the topping:

  • 2 ounces ground almonds
  • 2 ounces plain flour (white or wholemeal)
  • 2 ounces granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces butter (or dairy free spread suitable for baking), cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds

For the filling

  • 3 eating apples
  • 6 small, firm pears
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 star anise

Preheat oven to 160ºC fan or 180ºC conventional.

Make the topping by all the ingredients except the flaked almonds together between your fingers until you achieve your preferred crumble consistency. Set aside.

Core the fruit and chop into roughly ½ inch cubes.

Toss the fruit in the orange juice in your casserole dish. 

Add the star anise, evenly spaced.

Cover the fruit with the crumble topping and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.

Bake for approx’ 1 hour.

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Simnel Cake and an Imprecise Pudding

Published March 21, 2014 by Storm

Simnel Cake

Let’s be completely honest, The Railway Modeller and I both like cake; we probably like cake more than we should really. I thought the next celebration cake was due for an April birthday, then I discovered that Simnel Cakes were traditionally baked for Laetare Sunday (probably better known as Mother’s Day in the UK); obviously I decided to bake one. I found a recipe in one of my books and a bit of research suggested two weeks would be adequate maturing time, so this week I’ve made a cake. I’ll write more about it when we’ve actually tried it. In the absence of more to say about cake I’m writing about a pudding instead!

Steamed pear and chocolate sponge

Earlier this week I was given a bag of very ripe, slightly bruised pears. This classes as a treat because pears usually seem to be sold under-ripe and even the smell of good ripe ones is cheering. Obviously the bruising meant there would be some wastage so I needed to use them in something I would be chopping them for; my usual dish for pears like this would be a crumble but I thought my hands would probably object to tickling the crumble topping into being at the moment so decided to come up with a sponge pudding instead. This was a good decision to make, my crumble is probably healthier but this was pure comfort food. It’s a slightly imprecise recipe in places and while my scales mean I weigh ingredients in ounces the chocolate content is given in grams because I used half of a 100g bar, it made sense when I was throwing things together in the kitchen.

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Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

A large knob of butter

1 dessertspoon golden syrup

50g dark chocolate (I used a 70% cocoa content one)

3 or 4 pears (I used the unbruised bits of six very ripe ones)

3oz self-raising flour

1oz cocoa powder

4oz butter, margarine or spread suitable for baking (I use sunflower spread)

2 eggs

4oz sugar 

About 2 tablespoons milk or single cream (I used 1 tablespoon goats’ double cream and 1 tablespoon water)

Method

Grease a 1¾ or 2 pint pudding bowl.

In a saucepan, melt the knob of butter over a low heat. Break the chocolate into chunks and add the chocolate and golden syrup to the pan with the butter. Stir continually until everything is melted and evenly mixed. Pour this chocolate sauce into the pudding bowl.

Peel and chop the pears into roughly 1cm cubes, discarding the cores, and drop into the pudding bowl on top of the sauce.

Mix the remaining ingredients, except the cream or milk, in a food processor.

Add the milk or cream a little at a time until the mix looks smooth and spongy but not runny. Spoon the sponge mix on top of the pears in the pudding bowl.

Take a sheet of greaseproof paper and lay a sheet of kitchen foil on top of it, pleat the two together down the centre. Cover the pudding bowl with the greaseproof paper and foil (paper side to the pudding) and secure with string. Trim any excess paper and foil.

Place the pudding bowl in a steamer and steam for around 1¾hours.

Turn pudding out onto a plate and serve hot with cream or custard, alternatively serve cold as an indulgent cake.

Pasta and Pears

Published February 21, 2014 by Storm

Miss One, Cook Two

Less than two months into 2014 and last week I failed to keep to my recipe challenge.  There didn’t seem much sense in beating myself up over it though, not when the failure was a result of accidentally beating myself up with a shelf. Instead I decided to make up for the missed week by attempting two new recipes this week.  It seemed only right and proper that one of the recipes should be a dessert, so we enjoyed two new dishes in one night on Tuesday.  I decided to go back to Just One Pot to choose my recipes, inspiration was not hard to find.

Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle

Mushrooms have always been one of my favourite foods so a simple pasta supper featuring three varieties was safely destined to be a success.  I was slightly uncertain about cooking the pasta ahead of the sauce and then reheating it in the sauce but doing so worked perfectly well, and reduced washing up.  If it weren’t for the extravagance of simmering cream to reduce it for a sauce, goats’ cream is pricier than cows’ (almond or oat based alternatives are more expensive still),  I’d be vowing never to make a roux based white sauce again.  Perhaps not the most imaginative main course ever but we both enjoyed it.

Five out of five for clear instructions and ease of cooking, four out of five for tastiness.

Slow Roast Pears With Orange and Aniseed

Another very simple dish but combining flavours I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to myself.  This was delectable!  The pear and chocolate crumble I have been making for years is no longer my favourite method of cooking pears, roast with orange and aniseed is going to be hard to beat.  I opted to use Conference pears because I like a pear to remain reasonable firm once cooked, Williams can turn out a little on the mushy side, and the oranges I’d got were beautifully sweet and juicy.  I want to have a dinner party so I can feed this to lots of people.

Five out of five for ease of cooking and for flavour.

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