Recently I’ve realized what a bad, bad “recipe follower” I am!
So much depends on how many we are going to have at the Inn for breakfast; how much time I have for prep; what ingredients I might have on hand and a whole slew of other factors!
Since we serve a fruit dish every morning, we have come to realize that pears are one of the most versatile fruits available.
We poach ’em; we bake ’em; we butter bake ’em (bad, bad, bad but so good, good good); we put ’em in bread, in bread pudding in baked French Toast and in crisps. But it seems that the easiest of all and one that always draws “ahhhh’s” is the Poached Pear.
Pears We prefer Bartlett or D’anjou and I try to select nicely shaped with stems intact
Juice of your choice Note: Many recipes will poach pears in red wine. We prefer to not use wine so that in case we have a guest who doesn’t indulge, there is no possibility of an “oops” moment
…Regarding juice: we often use Cherry or Pomegranate simply for the color and the flavor. Fuji Apple juice will provide a lovely off white result.
Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel. Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds from the bottom and we are careful to be sure that we get all the seeds.
If necessary, slice off a very thin slice from the bottom so that they will stand up nicely.
Place all peeled pears (we are generally doing between 18 and 22) in a big Dutch oven. Cover with at least 64 ounces of juice and drop in the cinnamon stick. Cover and turn on low flame.
We cook for at least twenty minutes and keep checking with a “kabob stick” for tenderness.
Refrigerate when they are done.
Here’s where the fun comes in. You can just let your imagination run wild!
We often fill with a mixture of marscapone cheese; cream cheese; a touch of sour cream; confectioners sugar and perhaps some orange peel.
Or, stuff with goat cheese that has been rolled in sun dried cranberries (especially if you have used cranberry juice as your base).
No stuffing needed. Just place on a plate of fruit puree and drizzle a complementing color fruit drizzle to give it a colorful appearance.
We always use a tooth pick to poke a little tiny hole in the top near the stem and insert a small piece of mint.
If you’re serving this for dessert, a little vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce (see our previous post for Hot Fudge Sauce …. I would probably eat that over an old shoe)
I have to say that this is one of the easiest fruit dishes we prepare and it never fails to draw compliments! Here’s hoping that yours will too!
The William Henry Miller Inn
the Ithaca Broad