For some reason I was in the mood for poached pears. Even though we don’t have Fall in Guatemala, I crave certain fall harvest fruits on this time of year since I am always looking at food blogs and websites from the USA that feature pears, pumpkins, cranberries, different kinds of squash, berries, apples, etc.
Poached pears are delicious by themselves, you can also try them with chocolate sauce, or a berry sauce topped with whipped cream, maybe?
I had no trouble with the poached pears, the caramel sauce is another story.
The only thing you have to do is NOT stir. Otherwise the sugar will cristalize… I know this, but God help me, I couldn’t resist. It took two tries to get it right. Please go to the link I included at the bottom of this recipe and read it before you make the caramel sauce. It’s a step by step tutorial on how to make caramel. After I read it, I got it right.
For those of you who can make caramel without any trouble, go ahead and go straight to the instructions for the sauce. You already know you’re not supposed to stir it.
But how does this taste? A Tarte Tatin comes to mind, the soft but thick caramel sauce mixed with the poached pear is just… heaven. I hope I didn’t scare you with the caramel issue. It is actually easy to make, basically you just have to leave it alone until the sugar melts.
I used David Lebovitz’s instructions until I had achieved the amber colored caramel, which brings us to step 3 in the sauce recipe. Then continue with the recipe adding the butter and cream to get your sauce.
Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce
Ingredients, Poached Pears:
1 quart water
1 ⅓ cup sugar
4 pears; peeled, cored, and quartered
One cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons whole cloves, black peppercorns or allspice berries
One lemon half
One split vanilla bean
2 star anise
6 fresh ginger slices
- In a large saucepan, heat the water and sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. Add cloves, black peppercorns, allspice, lemon, vanilla bean, star anise and ginger slices.
- Slide in the pears and cover with a round of parchment paper, with a small hole cut in the center.
- Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through. Takes from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.
Ingredients, Caramel Sauce:
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter
½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go, just to put in. You need to work fast or the sugar will burn.
- Heat the sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk.
- As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want.
- When all of the sugar crystals have melted (now it will have a dark amber color), immediately add the butter and whisk until the butter has melted.
- After the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. It will foam. This is why you need a heavy bottomed pan.
- Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and warm before serving.
- Read First: David Lebovitz’s instructions on How to Make the Perfect Caramel.
- If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, but it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.
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