There’s nothing I like more than a nice juicy pear and indeed it’s best eaten when just ripe. A few weeks ago Brenda was away and apart from picking wild blackberries which were amazing, she also scrumped some rather leathery pears from a long neglected hedgerow. God knows what appalling kind of sight beheld the locals that day as she tramped around the country lanes looking like the wild woman from beyond. A spectre too ghastly to imagine quite frankly. Anyway I assume that the pears came from a hedgerow like she told me and that they weren’t stolen from someone’s back garden. Brenda has some nasty habits but stealing fruit would seem a bit desperate.
That said, the pears were bloody awful. No; I’m sorry but it has to be said. I sank my teeth into a couple and they were completely inedible even after a couple of weeks in the fruit bowl . Tough old leathery things with rough blotchy skin, which may be why the locals hadn’t picked them. How sensible!
There was only one thing to do; cook them.
5 grim tough old pears. Alternatively 5 lovely but not quite ripe firm conference pears will do.
2 cups (500ml) of apple juice
25 g of soft dark brown sugar
100g butter cut into cubes
150ml creme fraiche
sprinkling of ground ginger
handful of cardamom seeds crushed and ground
Preheat oven to 180°c
The beauty of this dish is it’s quick to prepare and will appeal to all the family.
Take pears and peel, halve and core them and place them in a serving dish core side down.
Pour the apple juice into a pan, place on hob, and bring to simmer. Pour in the sugar and stir till dissolved.
Add the butter to the juice and melt, and add the ground cardamom.
Once the butter has melted into the sauce then pour over pears.
Sprinkle over the ground ginger
Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take out of oven and stir in the creme fraiche and then replace in the oven for five minutes to warm through.
Take out and serve.