Monday Morning Cooking Club Revisits an Old Favourite – Slow Roasted Pears
This is a fabulous do-ahead and dairy-free dessert: Slow-roasted pears. And I promise you they are the best cooked pears you will ever eat! The recipe comes from my friend Judy who got it from a well known Australian chef Marieke Brugman. Marieke used to run an extraordinary weekend-retreat cooking school called ‘Howquadale’ in the stunning Victorian Snowy River horse country (seen ‘The Man from Snowy River’? There!). Judy and I first made this recipe about 20 years ago and it has been one of my favourites ever since.
The texture of these pears is akin to a pear puree, yet the pears amazingly keep their shape. And of course it went straight into our first book, Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood because it is just one of those recipes that you know is a keeper.
Sticky Pears Anyone ?
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 1 Vanilla bean split and scraped
- 6 brown pears (beurre bosc) peeled and left whole
- You will need a saucepan large enough to fit all the pears snugly.
- Combine all the ingredients, except the pears, in the saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the pears, ensuring they are all submerged. It is useful to cover them with baking paper and place a plate on top that won't squash the pears, but will gently keep them submerged. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- Remove the lid and continue to simmer on a low heat for around 3 hours until the juices reduce to a syrupy caramel, basting the pears from time to time.
- Note: The pears can also be cooked in the oven on 150C/280F for 3 hours after the first hour on the stovetop.
- Serve with creme fraiche or ice cream.