Monday, 17 October 2011

Poached Pears

These will be perfect to pop open on a cold winter night, then heat up and serve with a little ice cream and a biscuit.

• Pears (I used the ones from near the school this time).
• 2 Oranges
• Cinnamon Stick
• Wooden chopping board
• Sugar syrup (you'll make your own)
• Kilner type preserving jars
• Potato peeler
• Sharp knife
A Lovely Pair of Oranges
  1. Thinly peel the zest off the oranges.
  2. Get a large bowl and squeeze the 2 oranges into it. This is where you'll place the pears after you've peeled and cored them -- it prevents them from browning and adds flavour.
  3. Using the potato peeler, peel the pears.
  4. Cut the pears in half and then quarters or more removing the cores and stalks as you go.
  5. Place each pear into the bowl of orange juice as you move on to your next pear, making sure that they get covered.
Poaching The Pears

Make the Sugar Syrup
The amount you make will depend on how many pears you started with but the ratio is approximately 2 cups of sugar to every 4 cups of water. Mix the required amount in a large pan with the surface skin (zest) of the oranges and the cinnamon stick, stir over a low flame. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase your heat to high and bring the mixture to boil. You can start this part when you are about halfway through the pear prep - it will then be ready when you finish.
Cover in Syrup in Sterilised Preserving Jars
Bottling the Pears
  1. When the sugar syrup boils, put your pear slices in and bring it back to the boil. Poach the pears for about 15 mins or until they begin to turn translucent.
  2. Once your jars are sterilised and hot – I used a water bath in the oven and ended up with a kitchen sauna - carefully pack them with the hot pears.
  3. Then top up the jars with hot syrup. Make sure the pears are fully covered. I added a  small amount of the orange zest to each jar at this stage.
  4. Carefully close the lids and seal them securely.
  5. Some folk turn the jars upside down for ten minutes to help them seal.
  6. Then wipe the jars down and leave them on the wooden board to cool down.
  7. I Can't Wait To Try These

Then wait until a suitably cold winter's night...

Finally, add the labels and store.

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