I did something fancy. I poached pears using cider beer. Doesn't that sound fancy?!
I'll let you think I'm super cool until you see how easy it actually was. But we can keep the secret and your fiends and family can still think YOU slaved hours making a fancy dessert.
This is the best time of year to buy pears. Our grocery store had like 7 varieties of USA Pears to choose from. There is even a little sign by each with a quick description, taste profile and suggested uses. Much easier than me asking Siri (she's not very helpful).
Do you know how to choose ripe pears? Apply gentle pressure to the narrow "neck" of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it's ripe!
I knew I was going to attempt poaching so I went for the Bosc Pears that were a little firm; making them perfect for poaching.
Poaching a pear is super simple but, like I said, looks fancy. The most common poached pear recipe uses wine and sugar. The only time I like wine is when it's in sangria with a ton of fruit so I used one of my favorite cider beers instead. I absolutely loved the pears; it added just the right hint of apple and sweetness.
You could totally get creative too and use a number of other liquids and spices. Maybe tea, bourbon, coconut milk, beer or coffee and adding cinnamon sticks or cloves.
The best way I could think of to enjoy these poached pears was with a firm pound cake and ice cream.
It's a winner. You should make it.
Cider Beer Poached Pears with Pound Cake
24 ounces Cider Beer (like Redds Apple Ale)
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4-5 USA Pears, peeled and sliced (I used Bosc)
In a medium saucepan, combine the cider beer, water and sugar. Prepare pears by peeling, slicing and removing the seeds. Place prepared pears into the saucepan. Over medium-high heat cook the pears until fork tender making sure pears are submerged in the liquid. Depending on the firmness of the pears this could take 30-45 minutes.
Once fork tender serve right away or chill until ready to serve. Retain some of the liquid with the pears when storing.
If desired, you can continue to cook down remaining liquid to use as a topping. This could take an additional 20-30 minutes.
Serve with pound cake and ice cream, add to yogurt, serve with waffles or eat as is!
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Butter and flour a 10 inch bundt pan, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar (couple minutes). Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each. Gradually add the flour and milk, alternating and ending with flour. Mix in the lemon extract. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place pan in a cold oven and heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cake for 1 hour. Increase the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. (Do not open the oven while baking.)
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Set cake aside to cool. Can serve warm or at room temperature.
To serve, slice pound cake and place in a bowl. Top with warm or chilled poached pears, vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.
Pound Cake Source: Ms. Paula Deen
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.