Amaretto Poached Pears
I grew up spoiled. Not in the bratty, get whatever I wanted kind of way, though. I grew up spending much of my time during the summer on my grandad's orchard, shovelling fistfuls of freshly picked fruit into my never satisfied mouth. I say I was spoilt because for years after (even to this day, although I'd rather if that was kept a secret) I've had a hard time eating certain fruit. Does that make me a fruit snob? It's just that when you've bitten into an apple just picked from the tree, the juice squirts onto your hand. And when you pull off a pear from a tree and take your first bite, it is both firm and soft, never mushy or gritty like so many store-bought pears. While I'll buy both apples and pears from the market now, they're just not quite the same.
Luckily for me I have fantastic friends. Friends who visit the Okanagan (aka Canada's orchard and wine country) and think of me while there. Last week my friend Salvi brought me a bag of pears he had just picked off the tree himself. I was cooking him dinner, or rather heating up the previous night's leftovers, when he presented me with this gift. At that moment I wished I had put a little more effort into dinner!
I've never cooked with pears before, but I was given specific instructions by my lovely Spanish friend to make ‘a special dessert.' Stuffed from Thanksgiving and all the heavy pies and cakes, I decided to lighten things up. These amaretto poached pears are warm and soft and smelled lightly of almonds. They are sweet, a little too sweet with the syrup, but I'll change that next time. While I ate mine sitting on the couch in front of my laptop, they wouldn't look at all out of place at the end of a lavish dinner party.
Having no idea how to make these, and not finding much help on the internet, the result was good. Great even. But not perfect. I added a half cup of brown sugar and a cup of water. Next time I'll eliminate the water and reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons. The recipe I've posted bellow is how I will make the recipe next time around.
Amaretto Poached Pears
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- 4 pears, peeled and cores removed
- 1 cup Amaretto
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- Optional: whipped cream or mascarpone , to serve
- Peel the pears and gently remove core from bottom with a paring knife and a small spoon.4 pears
- Bring the Amaretto and brown sugar to a boil in a pot just big enough to fit the pears.1 cup Amaretto, 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- Add pears and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Turn pears every few minutes to ensure all sides of the pears absorb some of the Amaretto flavor. Remove pears and set them aside.
- Continue to simmer the Amaretto sugar mixture until it is reduced to ⅓ cup.
- To serve, stand a pear in the middle of a plate. Drizzle with reduced Amaretto sauce over the top and add a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone cheese beside the pear.Optional: whipped cream or mascarpone