Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful silly season and got appropriately silly.
We used the time to catch up with family, friends, rest and make goals and aspirations for this year. We also got re-inspired to cook. Would you believe my family aren’t a trifle loving family? Believe it, while Mr ColPanna is no stranger to it, my family never really made it and for me, the whole mouthful of mush idea never really grabbed me until recently. We spent Christmas with Mr ColPanna’s mum (hi mum!) & she made us the most delicious trifle I’ve ever had. It’s definitely down to how much liquid you soak your bread in & the kinds of fruits you use. Well, that’s what it is to me anyway. How about you? Are you a trifle fan?
Ok, I got sidetracked. Maybe I should call this post “The Trifle that Almost Was”, because it almost was. We had a dinner party with Padre ColPanna’s family late last week and I was all set to try and make my first ever trifle, the problem being I have only hand beaters and I didn’t fancy whipping up some meringue (you’ll have to stay tuned to find out) using a hand beater, I could have used Et, the Thermomix but, well, I got another idea. You guessed it, Cider Poached Pears. This way I could make a light, summery dessert & not have to worry about making it on the night. I’m all for less fuss when hosting dinner parties. The bonus with poached fruit, it looks good, it tastes good and doesn’t take anywhere near as much effort as you would think.
Here, I’ll show you.
Peel your pears. Use a melon baller to take out a couple of ‘balls’ from the base. This will remove the core & seeds while keeping it presentable. Thanks to Riki at The Cooking Professor for that tip!
Place them all in a large pot, it’ll need to be big enough to have a cup of liquid per pear.
You’ll need dry cider, while I don’t like to drink Strongbow Dry, I think it worked well in this recipe.
Add in the nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
Simmer until they’re beautiful and soft.
Once they’re done, remove the cinnamon and pears and boil down the liquid until it’s halved. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s served cold, so all of this can be done the day before!
Serve cold on rich honey yoghurt (we only ever buy Mundella, SO good) with the syrup poured over the top.
It’s simple but delicious and a great dessert to serve at a dinner party without too much hassle.
Cider Poached Pears
Adapted from Food for Weight Watching
- 4 pears, peeled and core removed
- 4 cups of unsweetened cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves (or 1/2 t of ground cloves)
- 1/4 t ground nutmeg
- 2 t honey
- Place pears, cider, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg all in a large pot and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
- Simmer slowly for around 25 minutes (if the pears are not fully covered, turn them over at the half way point) until the pears are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.
- Remove the pears, cinnamon and cloves (if using whole cloves).
- Add the honey to the liquid and boil gently until it reduces to a syrup-y consistency or by half.
- When ready to serve, spoon yoghurt into a bowl, top with a pear and spoon over a few tablespoons of the syrup.
- Serve warm with ice cream or custard.
- Poach apples instead of pears.
- Try poaching in different ciders, with the range available at the moment there are a lot of combinations!