It’s hot in London right now. As my brother would say, hot as… well let’s just say, really hot and sticky. Muggy. Humid. Still. Not exactly comfort-food weather. I spend all day grazing on chunks of cheese and nibbles of cucumber– anything cold and quick.
But what to do about the sweet stuff? I don’t have an ice cream maker, and anyway my belly doesn’t really appreciate creamy milkiness so well, so that’s out. Popsicles (at least the all-fruit ones I like) are ridiculously expensive and kind of limited selection here in England, so no go there. And there’s simply no way I’m getting in front of an oven until this heat breaks.
I could eat fruit, but I have this really annoying birch allergy that means a seriously itchy throat/mouth/lungs if I eat raw apples/pears/kiwis/anything delicious and fresh. So the pears the bf bought were off limits. Unless…
I’ve always really liked poached pears, and I had a feeling they were pretty easy to make. And best of all, they don’t involve an oven and they can be chilled for refreshment perfection. Sold and sold.
I did a quick internet search, pulled from a few different recipes, checked my cupboards for supplies, and got to it! And last night we had chilled poached pears for dessert, eaten with our hands while watching Youth in Revolt (weird movie, but fun), and it was beyond delicious. I even stole the second pear of three while bf was busy navigating his first! I was planning on letting him have it, but when it comes to cold, sweet, spiced tastiness on a hot night, you snooze you lose.
In a medium-large saucepan, bring to low boil:
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 whole clove
2 cups water (add more if needed to cover the pears)
4 medium-sized pears, any kind you like, not too ripe or they'll fall apart.
When liquid is simmering, add pears. Make sure they're covered as much as possible by the liquid, adding more water if necessary. Bring back up to simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on how soft the pears were to start, until tender.
Remove pears and leave liquid simmering until reduced to a syrup. Let pears cool and serve warm or chilled with the reserved syrup. You can also serve them with vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet (which we had, but I was too into the pears to add anything) for dessert, or plain/vanilla/greek yogurt for a healthy, delicious breakfast!