Friday, October 12, 2012
Pear in a Cup
Was it just me or fall has approach much earlier than usual this year? It's getting chilly out there already and it's not even mid October! The gloomy cold wind makes me want to stay indoor and what's better to do than spending some time in the kitchen?
I saw these lovely organic mini Seckel pears at the store just before Thanksgiving. These pears are the size of large eggs and aren't they cute? I couldn't help but to get my hands on them to incorporate into my baked treats.
Some time ago Donna Hay magazine was featuring pears and one of the pictures I remember was these poached pear cupcakes. Individual pears were poached in vanilla pod infused syrup, cored and baked into the cupcakes. By baking the pear inside the cupcake it actually keeps the cupcake moist. Plus, you can have a whole pear while you eat a cupcake! Okay, maybe these are too small to say you have your fruit of the day but it kind of makes you feel less guilty to eat them.
To make poached pears, the general rule of thumb is to use 1 litre of water to 1-1/3 cups of sugar. Add a scraped vanilla pod and bring it to a small boil. Peel and core the pears - leave the stems intact - and poached them slowly under a sheet of parchment paper. (The parchment paper helps to keep the pear under the syrup as they float to the top and oxidize.) These little pears takes 15 to 20 minutes and the large ones may take 30 or more minutes. The flesh should be soft enough for a knife to go through but yet give a bit of resistance. Leave it to cool and dry before you insert them to the cupcake batter. Full the cupcake liners 2/3 full before inserting the pears. Any of your vanilla cupcake recipe will work.