Part 1 – Stop saying mean things about me!
All right lovely brunch fans, before we begin, I’ve got some things to say regarding the extremely unfair victimisation of this series in last week’s Food Porn Friday. Sure, we’re supposed to be taking Friday’s post in turns and I did technically skip my week (again).
But the suggestion that I would abandon my beloved readers just because I hate fruit so much is frankly offensive. I have received such warm words as “I do kind of relate to it sometimes” and “you look funny in that selfie” and “I can’t believe this is a real blog”. I would never abandon those kind well-wishers now. And I don’t “wail”.
That being said, I am extremely busy and fruit is stupid.
Anyway, this week I’m trying pears. I would quite like to enjoy pears, because I have started a new job, and it’s the kind of office where there is occasionally free fruit lying around, and what am I supposed to say? “Thanks, that’s really kind. But actually I can’t have a pear right now because I am eating one for the first time ever later this evening. I need to be in front of a laptop so that I can record my thoughts during the experience, and if I don’t then my housemate will publicly shame me on Twitter.”
ANYWAY. This blog is all a learning experience, and what I have learnt from apples is that it’s better to eat fruit in slices, because otherwise the whole process is a bit exhausting.
As I cut the pear into slices, I learn that they are actually extremely slippery in comparison to apples. I almost drop my first slice. Really, why is apple juice so popular when pears are half juice already?
Hattie advised me that pears are better if you leave them for a few days, and I’m trusting her on that. Certainly as I take my first bite, it is much softer than the apple, and sweeter. I don’t mind it at all, although let’s be honest, there’s no choir of angels either.
Unfortunately, much like the apple experience, I find it difficult to finish. Slices don’t really help. It’s not that I dislike them – not like I hated the raspberries – but I’m just not particularly compelled to keep going. It’s too much like a chore. Maybe the answer is fruit salad, or smoothies, or covering it in chocolate again – a bit of variety to liven things up.
Which brings me to part 2 – poaching pears!
Part 2 – Poaching Pears
I didn’t even know that poached pears were a thing until I asked my stepmum for suggestions on fancy pear dishes. Apparently you can either poach them in sugar and then cover them in chocolate, or poach them in red wine. Both sound incredible.
I decided to go for the chocolate option because it was a bit more summery, and followed this BBC recipe. Our busy London social lives (by which I mean Hattie’s busy London social life) meant that I was also doing this while home alone.
That’s the dream, kids. Move to the best city in the world so that you too can watch House of Cards and faff about with fruit on a Tuesday night.
Step one: Peel the pear (or pears if you actually have company). Marvel at how juicy it is. It gets everywhere!
Step two: Boil some water and throw in the sugar. The stated 450ml didn’t seem like enough for one pear, let alone the six that the recipe suggests, so I added a bit more to compensate. (“So I’m doubling one ingredient and dividing the rest by six. How much difference can it really make?” I thought cavalierly, as somewhere out there Hattie started to cry).
I had seen on a slightly fancier recipe that you could also add exciting things like vanilla essence and cinnamon to the poaching mix, so I did so generously, once again making up the measurements as I went along. (“I’m just like Hannah Hart on My Drunk Kitchen!” I thought. “My disregard for exact measurements and actual planning is what makes me so charming!”)
Step three: Once your mixture has all the appropriate flavourings and has been boiling for ten minutes or so, pop in the pear, cover the pan, and kick back to spend twenty minutes or so with Claire Underwood. Or do the washing up or something I guess. Nerd.
Step four: While the pear poaches for the final five minutes, warm up the cream and melt in the dark chocolate. Is there anything more satisfying than the moment when these two perfect things finally become one, turning from weird curdled gloop into a thick, creamy sauce?
Step five: Dip.