These days I often find myself shopping on a strict budget, and gravitating towards the cheapest, usually seasonal, fruit and veg. At the moment that seems to mean pears; lots and lots of pears.
I’ve never much liked pears and always found them tough and gritty with a nasty flavour. When they’re your cheapest option at the market however, it’s hard to say no to them. It turns out, they can be really delicious with very little effort when you’re not eating them raw!
After a bit of experimenting, I worked out the following method of poaching pears that leaves them sweet, soft, and juicy. I’ve been chopping them up and adding them to salads with crushed walnuts for me, and slicing them lengthways for my 16 month old twins to enjoy. I have to admit, they’re really great.
- pears, however many you want!
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp honey (optional)
- Leave the stalks on and peel your pears. I usually do as many pears as will fit in my saucepan!
- Pop your pears into a saucepan. I find it works quite well if you have enough to fill the pan so you can wedge them up against each other to stop them from moving around. Sprinkle your cinnamon over the pears – don’t worry about getting an even coverage, the water will help with that.
- Pour water into your saucepan until the pears are covered up to their stems, and bring to a boil
- Once your water is boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
- At this point poke one of your pears with a knife. If the knife goes in smoothly and the pear feels soft then you’re done! If not, keep simmering for another 10 minutes and check again. Repeat this process until you’re done.
- I always store my poached pears with a few tbsp of the poaching water!
Poached pears are really lovely to eat warm. By themselves, on salads, in tarts, or with yoghurt or ice cream – they’re quite versatile! Most poached pear recipes I found involved sugar, which is lovely, but not advised for babies and toddlers. This recipe is sugar free but the finished product is still great, it’s brilliant for the whole family.
Please let me know if you try it, and if you have any other simple baby friendly fruit ideas!