Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lemon poached pears with cinnamon crema di latte

Image: Kyle Manning. Styling: Jane Graystone

It's all about the apples right now. But why should they get all the fun? Don't forget about the pears, please! Poached pears is one of the first "fancy" desserts that became a regular fixture in my repertoire and it was really thanks to the original version of this recipe. 

It first appeared in the first delicious magazine I ever owned (this really is becoming a post about firsts) and I have since adapted it for the slow cooker. Such a great dinner party idea if you're someone who leaves dessert to the last minute and ends up scratching together a bowl of ice-cream and a fruit salad from the limp offerings in the bottom of the crisper. Set in the morning and forget until serving time. Perfect!

(Ok, so maybe the crema di latte gets in the way of the set and forget concept a little, but you can, and should, prepare it in advance OR skip it. The pears will be delicious alone with ice-cream).

I published this recipe in the winter issue of Downtown Magazine and the shoot was about this time two years ago. I remember it very well because I was pregnant with my youngest child and trying so hard to keep it under wraps. No mean feat when all you want to do is scoff the food and avoid the wine. It was my first ever (and, to this date, only) food shoot - nothing is ever as glamorous as you want it to be, is it.

Lemon poached pears with cinnamon crema di latte
2 lemons
3 egg yolks
325g caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
40g flour
300ml milk
300ml cream
6 beurre bosc pears, peeled
2/3 cup limoncello
Serves 6
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half a lemon.
In a saucepan, lightly whisk 75g of the sugar into the egg yolks until combined. Whisk in flour then gradually add milk and cream. Add the cinnamon and lemon zest and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool then refrigerate until ready to serve. The crema di latte can be made a day in advance.
Finely zest the remaining lemons using a microplane or grater and juice.
Place the remaining sugar into the slow cooker with 500ml boiling water. Stir to dissolve then add the lemon zest and juice and the limoncello. Arrange the pears in the liquid and cover the mixture with greaseproof paper to prevent the pears from browning. Cook on low for 4 hours.
Just before serving, transfer some of the cooking liquid to a saucepan and reduce over a high heat until syrupy. Serve the pears drizzled with syrup and crema di latte.

Serves 6

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