I really hate pears. Which is a shame, as I have two pear trees in my garden, well, one either side, to be precise, belonging to my neighbours. These trees, one grandiose, the other spindly, provide a show all year round. White spring blossom, coquettishly adorning the dark branches, like a jazz singer on stage; all summer, the sluttish swaying in the heat and the rain; and autumn, ripe fruit drop onto my lawn to rot or be nibbled, by squirrels, foxes or slugs.
But I've found a solution: the granular texture, faintly unpleasant to my palate, simmered in leftover wine from guests, is an easy economical pud. I usually do it with red wine and mulling spices but this weekend, I had a bottle of white wine, probably too oxidised to drink, littering my work surface. A pinch of saffron, some sugar, a dollop of double cream and pistachios, forms a boozy amber dessert for a late winter weekend.
4 pears, not too ripe, peeled, leave stalk on
3/4 of a bottle of white wine
175g of sugar
Generous pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
150ml of double cream
2 tablespoons of pistachios
Simmer the pears in the wine, sugar, saffron, cinnamon for 45 minutes or so.
Serve warm with a nub of double cream topped with pistachios.
Or preserve them with their syrup, in a jar, for an occasion when you have no dessert to offer guests. They will last at least a year.
Do you like pears? Do you wait around for that brief time frame when they ripen?
Canning workshop and dinner with Gloria Nicol at The Secret Garden Club, March 3rd. Book here: http://www.wegottickets.com/supperclubs/event/197287