Today was great. Cory got to get greasy and play around underneath the car messing about with nuts and bolts, and I got to do a baking thing!
I had bought a kilo of baby brown skinned pears from the market last week and finally decided to do something with them. First of all, they were just on the cusp of being too ripe. The kind of juicy that runs down your arm. Mm baby. Usually a pear so ripe would be terrible for poaching, as they will just fall apart fairly quickly. But having a thick brown skin and a more fiberous interior, they seemed tough enough.
The taste of New Zealand so far for me has been lavender. There’s a huge hedge around the house, perpetually covered in chubby little bees, and its the first smell we get when we get home here in Waitakere. The second most New Zealand flavour for me, is manuka honey. Every morning I stir a glob of into my tea and its how I start my day here. It has a very strong and distinctive flavour thats slightly medicinal so you don’t need much to impart the flavour of tea tree into things. And of course, New Zealand means beautiful wine. So I clipped some sprigs, added a few blobs of honey and a splash of white wine into the pot. It smelled incredible.
Im going to wait til they cool off a little and then completely cover a pile of vanilla ice cream in these wee bad boys. They are sweet and mellow tasting, and the manuka & lavender combine into this musky slightly savoury flower taste. It’s pretty nice.
Lavender & Manuka Poached Pears
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp manuka honey
6 springs fresh lavender
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups water
1 kilo pears
In a medium pot, combine sugar, water, honey, wine and lavender. Bring to a boil. While you’re waiting for that to come up to a boil, peel, core and halve your pears.
Once your syrup is boiling, carefully add your pears, as well as any juice that came off the pears as you peeled them. Reduce to a low simmer. Cut a circle of parchment paper with a hole in the middle and place on top of the pears to keep them submerged, so that they poach evenly. Leave on a low simmer for about an hour, or until your pears are the same consistency & colour all the way through.
Strain out your pears and set aside. On a rolling boil, reduce your syrup by half, and pour over your pears. Will keep in a sealed container with syrup for atleast a week in the fridge. You can keep the syrup for weeks, and use it to poach more pears in, with even more flavour. Or add it to a glass of soda water and have a lovely lavender, honey and pear pop!