At this time of year most (non citrus) fruit can be rather disappointing, hard, dull, tasteless or watery, or an unlikely combination of all four. At the weekend I made Ren’s Rumtopf at the weekend and had spare pears and plums to use up. I often think that the window of time that a pear is perfect for is about 5 minutes; too early and they are hard and gritty, too late and they are squishy and starting to ferment. Surprisingly one of the pears left in the fruit bowl was perfect – ripe, soft, delicious and full of fragrant juice. I ate it whilst preparing its less perfect companions, the juice running down my chin and feeling only a vague twinge of guilt for not offering any to Ed.
I make no apology that the full name of this dish alliterates horribly and is a bit of a delicious mouthful to say. Port poached pears & plums with cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Try saying that after several glasses of port!
Serve this in a crumble or as a porridge topping. I am sure that the cooking does evaporate most of the alcohol thus rendering this suitable for breakfast, if not it is Christmas time after all!
Recipe: Spiced Pears & Plums in Port
2 medium pears
1 tbs water
1 espresso cup port
1 tbs sugar
2.5cm / 1″ cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods
Peel, core and chop the pears into 2cm / ½” chunks. Halve the plums, remove the stones and chop into eights.
Place all the ingredients into a pan, cover and simmer over a gentle heat for about 20 – 30 minutes or until all the fruit is soft. Using a slotted spoon remove the fruit, turn up the heat and allow the juice to thicken to a light syrup. Pour the syrup over the fruit and discard the spices.
This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.