A badly poached pear can be as solid as a rock. Follow this short how to guide for perfect results.
1. Peel each pear using a peeler or paring knife. Use whichever one you feel most comfortable with to get the pears neat and smooth.
2. Slice off the very bottom of each one so they’ll all stand up without falling over.
3. Push the tip of a small knife into the pear next to the core, diagonally towards the centre. Move the knife around until you’ve cut the core loose. Do the same to each pear so there’s no tough texture when you come to eat them.
4. Hold the tip of the knife to the stem end and turn the pear with the other hand. You want to trim off any skin around the stalk so it looks really neat.
5. Stand the pears in a deep saucepan and cover with your syrup. In this recipe, Richard uses sugar, water, lime and saffron for colour.
Cut a sheet of greaseproof paper big enough to fit on top of the pears. Scrunch it up and wet it under cold water, then sit it on top of your pears. This is called a wet cartouche, and it’ll keep the moisture in the pan during cooking.
6. Put the lid on and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your pears. The pears should be tender to the tip of a butter knife.
Lift them out and cool once they’re done. You can serve them with the syrup, which is often boiled and reduced down to thicken it up.
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