One of my favourite things about fall is pears. But they have to be exactly right. Not too hard, not too soft – somewhere in the middle. Red ones are my favourite just because of the colour – they make me think of autumn leaves.
I mentioned the other day that I splurged on a new cookbook. For me, cookbooks are as much about the photos as they are about the recipes. I’ve been like that forever – long before I picked up a camera. I want a picture for every recipe (cookbook authors/publishers take note!).
I chose the new Donna Hay book, Seasons. If you’ve never poked your nose inside a Donna Hay cookbook, they are quite simply, gorgeous. This is the first one I’ve bought because I’ve always loved trying to cook with the seasons and use what’s farm fresh and local as possible. The book is like a piece of art. But how about the recipes?
I decided to try the Glazed Pear recipe, which for some reason was listed under Spring (I’ve always considered pears a fall fruit). Odd because a number of pear recipes were listed in fall and winter.
I had some beautiful red pears that I actually found in the grocery store – not my usual stop for produce – and thought they’d be perfect for the recipe (which called for brown pears)
After I’ve tried out a few of the recipes, I’ll do a full on review of the cookbook but for now, let’s just say that I’m quite happy browsing it’s beautiful pages.
I changed the recipe a little bit… aside from using red instead of brown pears, I also substituted salt free becel (my dad’s on a heart healthy diet and I was trying to get him to try them) instead of butter. He wasn’t interested in trying them and I wound up wishing I’d used the butter. I also used fresh squeezed orange juice instead of orange liquor (didn’t have any). And I didn’t peel the pears – I wanted to keep some of the red colour.
My verdict? It was ok. Real butter would’ve been an improvement but I think the orange and honey together reminded me too much of all the hot toddy’s my mom would make me as a kid when I was sick with bronchitis (non-alcoholic of course) and which I didn’t really like. I found the sauce a bit too syrupy. I think I’d have preferred a more caramel like glaze. Having said that, it will all get eaten up! And, it’s an incredibly simple dessert to make and it looks beautiful in it’s finished form. Drizzle the syrup over some real vanilla ice cream for an extra treat!
So without further ado, the recipe:
Glazed Orange Pears (my slightly altered version)
1/3 cup salt free margarine (or butter)
1 cup of honey
2 tablespoons orange juice (or orange flavoured liqueur)
2 tbs finely grated orange rind (or lemon)
3 red pears, halved with skins on (you can peel them if you like)
Melt the margarine, honey and orange juice in a large, deep pan and stir to combine. And the orange rind and pears and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until pears are tender.
Red pears are large enough that this should serve three people. You could easily add an additional pear because you’ll have lots of extra glaze!