A couple of years ago, I packed up my frantic London life and set off for the countryside. Along with the move, I launched my blog, The Feast, to document my obsession with food. I’m an unschooled home-cook, with no greater knowledge than other home-cooks across the country. On Lindsay’s Feast, I share my culinary wisdom and (mis)adventures. Whether it’s meeting local producers, swishing across the pond to learn the finer points of wine-tasting, or quite simply battering around my own kitchen attempting to make meringues. I have an excessive sweet-tooth and have never been known to turn down a pudding.
Over the years I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Spain and South Africa, and each place, along with its food, has become a little part of who I am. I now live in a tiny cottage in a bustling Hampshire village. While I may endlessly complain about the rain and threaten to emigrate to the southern hemisphere at least twice a week, this cottage, with its miniscule kitchen and lop-sided stove, is starting to feel very much like home.
Mirabeau Poached Pears
You can buy pears at most supermarkets throughout the year, but it’s always exciting when the local ones start to appear at the end of summer. ‘Conference’ pears tend to be the first to arrive and they’re perfect for poaching, softening their flesh and intensifying their flavour.
Unlike many other fruits, pears fully ripen off the branch. Store them at room temperature until you’re ready to use them. For this recipe, they should be slightly soft when pressed near the stem. I particularly like poaching my pears in the Mirabeau Etoile Provence Rosé. It’s an elegant and refined gastronomic wine, with delicate aromas of pear and floral notes.
- 1 bottle of Mirabeau Etoile Provence Rosé (750ml)
- 100g caster sugar
- 4 pears, peeled, halved and cored
- a couple of bay leaves
- A sprig of thyme
- Place the rosé, sugar, bay leaves and thyme in a large sauce pan and bring it to the boil until the sugar has melted. Reduce it to a simmer and then carefully add the halved pears. They need to be completely submerged, so top up with a little water if necessary.
- Let the pears simmer in the rosé mixture for about 20-25 minutes, until they’re soft when pierced with a sharp knife or skewer. The time will depend on the ripeness of your pears.
- When the pears are ready, remove them from the poaching liquid and place in a large bowl.
- Increase the heat and bring the poaching liquid back to a boil. Let it bubble and reduce for about 15 minutes, until it’s slightly syrupy.
- Pour the rosé syrup over the pears.
They’re delicious either served warm or chilled. They’ll keep covered in the fridge for three days.