Day 11: 2014 Sweet Paul Holiday Countdown presented by Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

When I was a boy, my mother's special dessert was poached pears.  She had many ways of poaching the pears, but my favorite was this spice recipe that I'm sharing with you here.  I've added my little spin on it by having my pears nest on a pillow of puff pastry, because we all know that puff pastry makes everything better!  This dessert tastes best when served warm with a scoop of really nice vanilla ice cream.

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You will need:

4 firm pears

2 cinnamon sticks

2 inches pf ginger, sliced

6 all-spice berries

10 cardamom pods

1/2 vanilla bean

2 cups sugar

water

puff pastry, about 1/2 sheet

melted butter

  1. Peel the pears but be sure to leave the stem intact.
  2. Place them in a large pot with all the spices and sugar.
  3. Add enough water to cover the pears.
  4. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave in in the syrup for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F. (200C)
  6. Cut the puff pastry into 4 squares, don't roll it out.
  7. Butter 4 ramekins and place the puff pastry inside, let the edges hang over the edge.
  8. Brush with melted butter.
  9. Add the pears and brush them with butter.
  10. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm with ice cream.

TIP:

Don't throw out the syrup! Let it boil down to half, strain and you have a wonderful spiced syrup for cocktails.
Photography by Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe

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