Friday, November 4, 2011

There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love pears, and have heard about poaching them in wine, and finally decided to try it.

Gingerbread with Poached Pears
For the poached pears.
Simple ingredients....could've used another pear or two.

This was not vegan - there was an egg and yogurt in the gingerbread, but otherwise vegetarian friendly.

I don't drink a lot, so I sometimes buy my wine in these little four-packs.  I used two of them for this recipe.  First I brought to a boil the wine, sugar, orange zest and a cinnamon stick, and stirred to dissolve the sugar.  Then I lowered to a simmer and let that set for five minutes.  Then I put in the pears (peeled, halved, and cored) and let them simmer for 20 minutes.  After that, I took them off heat and let them steep and cool for a couple of hours while I made the gingerbread.

These are just in.  After a while in the wine, they darkened up.

Then I got to work on the gingerbread.  

All ingredients present and accounted for...
except a shy egg which escaped its photo op.

That's a LOT of ginger!
I was a little alarmed at how much fresh ginger this recipe called for - 1/3 cup of sliced ginger!

It gets minced in a little food processor.  This much would be kind of a pain to mince by hand.

The ginger and some brown sugar gets cooked a while...

Add some molasses...

Then you assemble the wet ingredients in one bowl, the dry in another.  I should have put them in the reversed sized bowls, as you then sift the dry into the wet.

Add the cooked mixture...

Pour into pan (already sprayed with no-stick spray).

Viola!  Passed the clean toothpick test!

I've never made gingerbread before.  This was good, and the ginger in it was just right - not too heavy as I had anticipated.  I guess as it cooks and bakes it mellows a bit?  However, this was not as 'rich' a gingerbread as I have ever had - I guess owing to its appearance in a 'healthy' cookbook.  I think I will try a richer version next time...

I will DEFINITELY be poaching more pears!  Those were delicious!



p.s.  I had a couple of the half-pears left over and served them up in my little Le Creuset mini-pie dishes.  They were a perfect size for this!

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