Here's a confession for you, I never liked pears. I didn't hate them but I didn't care for them as much as I liked apples. As a kid, apples were always a better option than pears when I had to choose. And now, I can't even remember the reason for my dislike. Such is the craziness of a picky eater, a fickle minded child! My poor parents.
I doubt I'll plant a pear tree because I have my hands tied with a few plants that I struggle to keep alive but if I did it would be one that bore red Anjou pears. Hopefully, it wouldn't bear one fruit just like my fig and pomegranate plants did this year. (Fingers crossed, next year might be more fruitful)
If you're looking for something sweet and easy to prepare, to top over dishes or serve with a selection of cheeses at a party, then you should consider this pear compote. It also goes great with yogurt (pictured here) and also with sausage. A pinch of black salt (kala namak) and a hint of green cardamom flavor the fruit while it glistens in a golden coat of sweet maple syrup.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this compote,
- Use ripe pears that have a firm texture so they don't get mushy and fall apart when cooking. Here's a good guide to pears. I used Anjou but Bosc are also a good choice.
- Don't stir the pears too much while they cook. This allows the water to evaporate but also allows the maple syrup to coat the fruit evenly.
- I tend to leave the cardamom pods in the compote but you can discard the green shell after the fruit is cooked.
- Serve this compote as an accompaniment to a cheese platter, over your breakfast oatmeal bowl or yogurt. There's a lot you can do with it. However, do warm it up a little, if you end up refrigerating it. Ghee solidifies as the temperature drops and warming it a little will liquefy it. Just stir it up before use.
pear and ginger compote
yields: 2 cups
4 large pears (approximately 376gm)
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
1 teaspoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon black salt
1 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons water
5 green cardamom pods
1. Core and peel the pears. Dice them into 1/2 inch cubes and keep aside.
2. Add the ghee to a medium-size thick bottomed saucepan and heat on medium-high. Lightly crush the green cardamom pods and add them to the hot ghee and sauté for 10 seconds. Then add the ginger, black salt, maple syrup and water and stir for 30 seconds.
3. Add the diced pears to the ingredients in the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir and cover the saucepan loosely with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. The pears will be golden brown in color and most of the liquid will have evaporated. Remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer the pears to a clean dish or jar. The pear compote can be served warm or at room temperature. You can refrigerate this compote for storage, however warm it a little before serving so the ghee melts.