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Poached Pear in Caramel Sauce

This makes just the right-sized, and most attractive, dessert for one. This idea also works very well with a poached peach in the summer.

To poach a peach, follow the same method as for the pear, but when the sugar has dissolved, place the peach, whole and unpeeled, in the water.

Cover with a lid and poach for 10 minutes, then drain it and slip the skin off before setting it in a serving bowl.

 
 


Method

Begin by peeling the pear, trying to keep its shape and leaving the stalk intact (apart from looking nice, it will help you to handle the pear when it’s cooked). Then cut a thin slice from the base of the pear so that it will be able to stand up in the serving bowl.

Pour 1¼ pints (720 ml) water into a small saucepan and add the sugar. Start to bring it up to simmering point, and when the sugar has dissolved, add the pear and vanilla pod. Once the water has started to simmer, give the pear 10-15 minutes’ poaching (this will depend entirely on how hard it is).

Turn it over in the water during the cooking and test it for tenderness with a skewer. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce by placing the light brown sugar in a small pan and melting it over a medium heat. Cook it until it has turned a gingery colour, then take it off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of tap-hot water: it will sizzle and splutter a bit, but will soon subside.

Cook it gently for another 30 seconds, then leave it to cool slightly – for a minute or so – then stir in the cream until smooth. Now drain the pear, using the stalk to lift it out of the pan.

Let it cool then sit it upright in a glass serving dish.

Spoon the caramel sauce over it, then chill in the fridge till needed.

 

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