I have an aunt who is the queen of the dessert. Lunch with family is always followed by a coconut cake, a bread pudding, a strawberry pie or a meringue tart (one of those where even the meringues are homemade).
The funniest thing is when we come to visit her without any notice and the first thing she says is something like “Wow, I didn’t know you were coming and I haven’t baked anything today!”. Then she makes us a coffee, we keep talking and when we suddenly realise, she has already stuffed and baked a wonderful cake much better that any famous bakery that I’ve been to!
I remember when I moved to Australia and she gave me a gift: my 3 first cookbooks. Three very old booklets, with easy recipes. One of them was actually written by Claybom, an old Brazilian dairy brand. Does anyone remember Claybom?
Well, as pretty much everyone from my mother’s generation cooks very well in the family, the pressure is simple as this: Is anyone in this family going to learn how to cook like them?
No, I (still) don’t cook like them but I love my little adventures in the kitchen so, my dear family, hopefully I will get there eventually! And who knows If I won’t be the one to pass this precious legacy forward?
When I saw these little pears at Sydney Markets It reminded me a lot of my aunt and I decided to make a dessert with them. Small, delicate, hard to handle but worthwhile!
The flavour of the pear poached in wine is quite remarkable: it is possible to distinguish the taste of each ingredient in every bite and it’s amazing how all these flavours complement each other!
Not counting the leftover sauce that turned into a delicious jam when thickened a bit longer.
I hope I have the opportunity to make this dessert for my aunt during my holidays in Brazil.
I got the base for this recipe on Real Simple .
1/2 bottle of dry red wine
1 orange quartered
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla, cut in half
1 cinnamon stick
10 small pears or 5 large ones, peeled
In a small saucepan mix the wine, lemon and orange juices, 1 quarter of the squeezed orange, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.
Remove the core of the pears through the bottom.
Add pears to saucepan and cook on medium heat until boiling. Lower heat, leave the pot unlided turning the pears occasionally for about half an hour or until they are soft.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to the dishes where it will be served.
Remove the squeezed orange, the cinnamon stick and cloves from the pan.
Bring the pot back to the low heat and cook until the syrup reduce to one third, approximately 20 minutes.
Pour the syrup over the pears.
Serve it warm to enhance the flavours. It goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.