Cooking time: up to 1 ¾ hours
Somerset is famous for its cider and this method of cooking pears is very similar to classic french dishes, and has been used for many years.The redcurrant or apple jelly helps to thicken and color the syrup.The pears looks more impressive if cooked whole and since they should be very tender,They are nor difficult to serve.However,it does mean using rather a lot of cider and other ingredients in the sauce to make sure they are covered cooking.If preferred the pears could be halved in which case about half the ingredients for the sauce would be necessary.Any sauce left could be saved and served with baked apples.
(1) Sweet cider 1.2 liter/2 pints or 5 cups in American
(2) Red currant or apple jelly 6 tbsp or 1/2 cup American
(3) Caster sugar 100 g/4 oz or 1/2 cup
(4) Medium sized cooking (baking pears) 8 or 8 in American
(5)Cloves,optional 8 or 8 in American
Put the cider jelly and sugar into a medium sized saucepan,stir until the jelly and sugar have dissolved.Peel the pears but try to retain the stalk.Remove the core if it is possible to to do this without damaging the fruit.Press one clove into the base of each pear, if using these. Put the pears into the syrup in the pan , check to see they are completely covered, if not then make up a little more sauce.Cover the pan and simmer the cider mixture gently until the pears are tender.Really hard cooking(baking) pears sometimes needs about 1 ½ hours; These re particularly good prepared in this method since the syrup soaks through the fruit and imparts the excellent flavor.When the pears are soft,lift out of the cider mixture, put into a serving dish.Boil the cider mixture briskly in the uncovered pan until a thickened syrup.Cool slightly then pour around the pears.Chill well and serve with cream.
FRUIT PIES : Deep dish pies filled with fruit have been a favorite pudding in Britain for many years.There is an abundance of seasonal fruits, which makes it possible to produce a fruit pie at anytime of the year.
Gooseberry pie is often given as traditional pudding