Growing up, I have never been the girliest girl among friends. I probably checked the content of the fridge more often than checking myself out in the mirror. Yes, I am one who doesn't even look into the mirror when I wash hands, after going to the bathroom. Especially so in the the public bathrooms.
Given my total negligence on my appearance, I turn out to be slighly above average as an Asian female homo sapiens, thanks to my parents excellent genes. However, beneath my tomboy-ish skin, my favorite color happens to be pink. The girliest color among all.
When I see this tree blooming with pink flowers in front of my new apartment, I go crazy taking hundreds of photos of it, at different angles, once in the morning and once before sunset. It is a good omen, I tell myself. I shall get into the kitchen to bake something marvelous and fill our new house with delicious scent.
Here comes the problem.
Despite my enthusiasm of a new and bigger kitchen, my first few collaborations with the oven don't turn out as well as I have anticipated. A failed batch of Pandan chiffon cake, chocolate and pear clafoutis and Nutella cupcakes later, I know I need more time to get to know the oven.
It is time like this that reminds me of the poached pears I made for a dinner party not long ago. Tired of thinking what else to bake, and the prospect of cleaning many bowls, I decided to bring something different this time. With a few pears sitting in the refrigerator, it would be a perfect occasion to try my hand at poaching. The delicious pears have then be devored (with some premium quality ice-cream), with photos taken as proof, then promptly forgotten and burried in one of the picture folders. Until now. This effortless dessert would be perfect at time like this.
Poaching is a simple and healthy technique to impart flavors. As fancy as the term sounds, poaching is nothing more than immersing the desired fruits or meat into a flavorful simmering liquid. I poached the pears roughly based on a recipe from Epicurious.com. But one could easily substitute any components of the poaching liquid to obtain the desirable taste. This is the kind of dessert one needs when the oven is not cooperative. :)
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Moscato and Vanilla Poached Pears
adapted from epicurious.com
6 firm but ripe large Bosc/Anjou pears, peeled, halved, cored
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cup water
1.5 cups Moscato
12 tablespoons honey
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Toss pears with lemon juice in large bowl. Set aside. Combine water, Moscato and honey in large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Stir over medium heat until honey dissolves. Add pears. Cover mixture with round piece of parchment paper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pears are just tender when pierced, turning when half-way through cooking, about 15-25 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to large bowl. Boil poaching liquid until reduced to half. Cool syrup. Pour syrup over pears. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove vanilla bean.
Halved the pears, removing the cores with stem attached. Or thinly slice each pear half lengthwise, leaving slices attached at stem end for a fancier presentation. Using metal spatula, transfer pears to plates. Spoon some syrup over pears. Serve with ice cream or enjoy the poached pears as they are.