I really hate pears. Which is a shame, as I have two pear trees in my garden, well, one either side, to be precise, belonging to my neighbours. These trees, one grandiose, the other spindly, provide a show all year round. White spring blossom, coquettishly adorning the dark branches, like a jazz singer on stage; all summer, the sluttish swaying in the heat and the rain; and autumn, ripe fruit drop onto my lawn to rot or be nibbled, by squirrels, foxes or slugs.
But I’ve found a solution: the granular texture, faintly unpleasant to my palate, simmered in leftover wine from guests, is an easy economical pud. I usually do it with red wine and mulling spices but this weekend, I had a bottle of white wine, probably too oxidised to drink, littering my work surface. A pinch of saffron, some sugar, a dollop of double cream and pistachios, forms a boozy amber dessert for a late winter weekend.
4 pears, not too ripe, peeled, leave stalk on
3/4 of a bottle of white wine
175g of sugar
Generous pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
150ml of double cream
2 tablespoons of pistachios
Simmer the pears in the wine, sugar, saffron, cinnamon for 45 minutes or so.
Serve warm with a nub of double cream topped with pistachios.
Or preserve them with their syrup, in a jar, for an occasion when you have no dessert to offer guests. They will last at least a year.
Do you like pears? Do you wait around for that brief time frame when they ripen?