A Dessert for House Hunting

10 Feb
Brandied pears to fortify us for the hunt.

Brandied pears to fortify us for the hunt.

I might have mentioned that The Beloved and I have begun our house search.  It is Very Exciting!  We sold last June to move here, but we decided to rent for awhile, because we weren’t sure that we would like the area.  Well, we love the area–it is so multi-cultural because of all the colleges and universities around here, not to mention all the high-tech companies, so there is Great Food to be had almost everywhere we look.  We’ve had fantastic Indian food (best samosas ever), Turkish food (they do hot and cold on a plate like nobody’s business), Mexican (pollo chipotle, anyone?) and Malaysian (talk about wok hay)!  Oh, my!

Ahem, I’m supposed to be talking about house hunting.  Sorry, I got distracted by all the food.  I’m back.  So, like I was saying, we really love it here.  No special reason.  The two front runners are located on Brandywine Rd and Pearson Farms Drive, so I thought, what better snack to commemorate the hunt than brandied pears?!  See how my brain works?

Again, I tied my magical string to the doorway of the Hinternet and went In Search Of.  What I came back with was a very straightforward, very boring sort of recipe.  And you deserve better than that.  Heck, I deserve better than that.  Here’s how we’re gonna do it:

House-Hunting Brandied Pears

  • 5 pounds ripe, lovely pears.  I like Bosc.  Make sure they aren’t overly ripe, or they will fall apart.
  • 1 1/2 pounds sugar (yes, I know it’s a lot)
  • 12 oz. water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy (yes, I know)

Heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved.  Add salt, cinnamon, star anise and ginger.  Bring the syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Peel, halve and core the pears.  Cook the pear halves in the syrup until tender–about 5-10 minutes.  Set pears aside, bring the syrup to a rolling boil and let it reduce until slightly thickened.  Don’t go overboard, or you’ll end up with caramel.   Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy.  Taste it.  You might want to add a pinch more salt.  Go ahead and strain the syrup.

If you’re a Pioneer Woman or Man and do a lot of canning, you can stuff the pears in sterilized jars, cover with the syrup, leaving 1/4″ of headspace and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.   If, like me, you are not a pioneer person, you can just pour the syrup over the pears and eat them in the next couple of weeks.

You now have either a dessert that can stand on its own (if it doesn’t fall down because of the Brandy.  Thank you; I’ll be here all week).  You also have what we “in the biz” call a Dessert Component.  Think of the possibilities!   Anyone? Ooh, ooh!  Me first!  I will drain them, mash them up and serve them with triple creme cheese.

What will you do with yours?  What will you put them in/on?  What will you top them with? Tell me all about it, and wish us luck with the house hunt.

5 Responses to “A Dessert for House Hunting”

  1. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen February 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi Jenni! I am glad that you love our new locale so much that you are looking for a house! That is exciting, and I agree the pears are perfect for helping you decide, LOL!

  2. 5 Star Foodie February 11, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Oh, pears and brandy – excellent! Love this dessert!

  3. Daily Spud February 11, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    Oh, the best of good luck with the house hunt – very exciting! Meanwhile I think I’ll have my brandied pears with candied walnuts and some (real) whipped cream. That’ll do nicely 🙂

  4. Chris February 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Excellent presentation! I’ve seen so many recipes for stewed/brandied/poached pears but have never tried them (and I’m not really sure why). This looks like an excessively easy method, though, so I’ll have to give it a go. I would pair (hah) these with some crunchy for a variety of textures; perhaps dacquoise cutouts and a little creme Chantilly? 🙂

  5. onlinepastrychef February 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    @Jenn @5 Star Foodie Thanks! I find that pears and booze help w/most decision making processes 🙂

    @Aoife (DS) Thanks for the good wishes. Yay for candied Walnuts. But, no Cool Whip–what?! 😉

    @Chris Try them. And you’re right–crunchy is the perfect foil–I like the Dacquoise idea 🙂

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