DEVOUR AND DIVINE : Cider Poached Pears

Ah- my friends, you have been so patient with me. I’ve been consumed with establishing my Umi Kitchen, “Kate’s Autumn Feast” and so I have admittedly neglected this space. The menu is glorious, I hope you visit the Umi site or download the app, or even better – if you live in the NYC area – order! I’ve spent a lot of time and contemplation to create a kitchen that showcases the best of what each season offers and I plan to share most of those recipes here…starting with the Juniper Beef Stew and now these lovely pears.

I consider these a palate cleanser as well as a light bite of dessert after a rich meal – I developed them specifically my Winter Squash Béchamel Lasagna with Pecan Pesto. The apple and citrus brings out the brightness of fresh pears, while the spices keep them deeply grounded in the “pumpkin spice” season.

For a treat with guests, I think these would be great with a chilled red vermouth or port and some butterscotch or caramels. And for a night you want to make special just for yourself, these are an easy way to cut the heaviness of a rich main dish.

CIDER POACHED PEARS, serves 4 (1 half pear each)

Time to prepare from start to finish : 30 minutes…Ease : minimal effort.

  • 2 ripe red Anjou pears*, split in half and cored with a melon baller or teaspoon
  • 1 c.fresh apple cider
  • 1 c. tangerine or orange juice
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 T pickled mustard seeds (see recipe below)
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 T sugar

*I tried this with every type of pear, and they all worked fine. The red Anjou was my first choice because of the pretty red peel.

PICKLED MUSTARD SEEDS, makes approx 1 cup

Time to prepare from start to finish : 30 minutes…Ease : minimal effort.

  • 1/4 c yellow mustard seed
  • 1/2 c apple cider
  • 1/8 c sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1.5 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp aleppo pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and is the texture of thin tapioca/chia pudding.


TO PREPARE THE PEARS

Combine all ingredients in saucepan, simmer for 15 minutes, flip pears over and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the edges become slightly transparent. Remove from juice and serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Pears, once poached, can be stored in their poaching liquid for one to two days.

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