A nice bit of alliteration up there...
I've seen poached fruit on loads of cooking shows so I wanted to attempt it. We had loads of pears and peaches sitting in our fridge, so that worked out nicely.
I looked up multiple recipes and then just improvised based on them.
It worked out well, even though I kind of forgot to check on the fruits while they were boiling.
I served it for tea the next day with the little vanilla cake we made from the vanilla cupcake mess. It was a wonderful pick-me-up: sweet, yet so light and fresh. You can still taste the original flavour of the fruits-- they're not doused in sugar. The cake and fruits each taste wonderful on their own, but even better when eaten together: warm and cool, simple and airy.
Poached Pears and Peaches
Note: Feel free to adjust the quantities to make more or less fruit. Lovely additions to the syrup are cinnamon, cloves, honey, white wine or nutmeg. You can also let the syrup reduce to a sauce after you've removed the fruit. One recipe mentioned something about adding butter to the leftover syrup. I did that but didn't read the recipe. So... I burnt the sugar and butter and it became one black, bitter clump. But I didn't mind-- it all tasted great anyway.
1 hard pear, peeled, quartered and cored
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 small lemon
Blanch the peaches by first placing them in hot water for about 5 minutes and then in cold water. The skin should come off easily. (It didn't completely work for me: I think I didn't leave them in the water long enough).
Chop the peaches.
By the way, does anyone know how to neatly chop peaches?? That huge seed is such a nuisance and I mainly got loads of little pieces of flesh... Leave a comment if you can help!
Put the sugar, maple syrup and enough water to cover the fruit in a saucepan. (You'll either have to approximate the amount of water, or measure and then remove the fruit)
Put the saucepan on the stove on medium heat and stir to let the sugar dissolve. Add in a squeeze of lemon juice. Allow the liquid to boil, then reduce to a low simmer and add the fruit.
I used a trick I read in David Lebovitz's recipe which is supposed to help the fruit to get an even colour: Cut a circle of baking/butter paper that fits snugly in the pan. Cut a little hole in the middle of the circle to allow steam to be released.
Leave them to cook and test frequently (which I forgot to do...) by poking with a knife. If the knife is met with no resistance, they're done.
Eat warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Poaching fruits lengthens their lifespan, so they'll last a while.
Serving suggestions: plain; with chocolate sauce; with caramel; chopped and stirred into yoghurt, granola or oatmeal; served with cake; gingerbread; tarts; cookies; ice cream; sorbets... it's endless!
Lessons Learnt: Butter and Sugar burn really quickly!
Remember to check on the fruit (I just got lucky that they came out well)
Lessons still to learn: How to chop peaches