Actually – A Pair of Pear Recipes in time for Christmas
I have been a bit obsessed with pars lately. All that sweet juiciness and soft almost grainy texture. I just had a wonderful salad made from maple baked pears and sweet potato – yum! Im loving the pairing of sweet pears with some savoury saltiness. Add in that I bought pears for 89 c/kilo last week and you can see why they are featuring heavily.
Easy one to start – Pear, Parmesan and Prosciutto Salad with pine Nuts. Throw a couple of handfuls of rocket into a salad bowl. Cook 4 slices of prosciutto until brown and crisp and then tear into strips. Core and thinly slice a corella pear (you can use another variety but I love the blush on the skin). Toast 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and shave 20 grams of parmesan into the salad. Bliss! Make sure that you keep the dressing light to enhance rather than overwhelm the delicate flavours – I use raspberry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Too easy, but elegant and perfect blend of salty sweet and peppery. Great with all that Christmas ham!
Second recipe will take just a little longer. This Spiced Pear Chutney is perfect paired with your Christmas ham or left over turkey. Even glams up a little cheese and cracker action.
Start by peeling and roughly dicing your pears. In a large pan, bring your vinegar and brown sugar to boil, reduce to a simmer then add pears. Throw in finely diced red onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon sticks, some star anise and some salt.
A nice little hit of chilli flakes and then some dried fruit. I used a combo of raisins, sultanas, dried figs and craisins. YUM! The great thing about making this Spiced Pear Chutney, is that it now just bubbles away on the stove for about an hour.
While this is happening, sterilise some jars. After about an hour your chutney will have become a deep caramel colour :
Spoon into hot sterilised jars and seal. This chutney is perfect for serving with cold meats and cheese. Enjoy!
- 1 kg pears, peeled and diced (I used Corella but up to you)
- 300g brown sugar
- 500ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 medium red onions, roughly chopped
- 40g grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1½ tsp salt
- 250g mixed fruit (I used a Sunbeam blend of raisins, craisins, sultanas and figs)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- In a large pan, bring sugar and vinegar to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and aadd the pears and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour until thick and glossy.
- Meanwhile, wash rinse and sterilise jars.
- Remove cinnamon quills and star anise. Pour chutney into warm jars and seal. Allow to cool completely. Store in fridge after opening and use within 3 months