Pears Poached in Port Wine (Stoofperen)

In the Netherlands, poached pears are often served as a side dish with game. I prefer to serve them as dessert, as the sweetness of the pears makes it difficult to pair a red wine with the game. The type of pears used for this are usually Gieser Wildeman. These pears are stoofperen, pears that are (only) suitable for stewing/poaching. Stoofperen are often poached in red wine, although Gieser Wildeman can also turn red of their own accord when they are cooked.

For my dessert version I’ve used port wine instead of red wine, with added sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Cooking the pears sous-vide is a good way to save on port wine, as only a bit of porto is needed to surround the pears completely by the port wine. You don’t need a sous-vide cooker to cook pears sous-vide, a stock pot filled with water and a thermometer are enough in terms of equipment. If you don’t own a chamber vacuum sealer, you can use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method to seal the pears. Continue reading “Pears Poached in Port Wine (Stoofperen)”

Pear Ice Cream

Pears are in season, and pear ice cream is one of my favorite flavors. If you own an ice cream maker, making your own pear ice cream is very easy. Just blend all the ingredients and pour the mixture into your ice cream maker. The ‘official’ way to make ice cream requires you to cook a custard first, but if you don’t mind eating raw egg yolks then that step can be skipped and you will still end up with very nice ice cream. The advantage of making your own ice cream from scratch is that there are no artificial flavors, just actual pears.

The most important thing to remember is to use ripe pears, and it pays off to buy them a week in advance if needed as they will ripen after you buy them. To obtain firm but pliable ice cream and just a touch of lemon, I add a small amount of limoncello. The alcohol will prevent the ice cream from freezing into a brick.
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Pear Tart

I’ve been baking pie crusts from scratch for years, but I was never completely satisfied with the results. Thanks to tips from CampariGirl and Emmy as well as using proper (pastry, low-gluten) flour I am now finally happy. I made this pear tart based on CampariGirl’s recipe for peach tart and the crust was perfect: crunchy and flaky, even under the moist filling. This is a a very simple but lovely dessert: tender fragrant sweet pears on a great crust. Nothing fancy, but who needs fancy if simple tastes this good? Feel free to make this with another type of seasonal fruit like apples … Continue reading Pear Tart