Recently, a new Coles store has opened just up the road from my place of residence. Other stores within the area are pretty dismal, and I’m really missing my visits to the
Scoop & weigh happiness-in-a-bag section at Northcote and Burwood. This new store has everything in abundance, even the staff, and there is a scoop and weigh section. Happiness for this nut lover has been restored (#thesimplethings). Anyway, the next best thing about this flash store is that a grocer has opened right next door. I no longer buy fresh produce at the supermarket, and I’m saving at least one brunch a week on the cost of fruit and vegetables.
However, what I have found about grocers is that when you go at closing time, not only is the place super busy, but every employee is trying to sell the produce. By the one dollar bag. Suddently one zucchini turns into five, plus a bag of ten pears and some butternut pumpkin. All for $2.86.
At 10 pears for $1, your brain does become a little irrational – surely one person can eat only so many pears. Or can they?
It’s a good thing they are high in fibre, full of vitamins and minerals, and relatively low in kilojoules. Because the amount I’ve eaten this week – well I’d have myself a nice pear (if you know what I mean) otherwise.
Anyway, another pun aside, I had pears in abudance and no desire to eat all of them fresh. So my first thought was poached pears. After consulting recipes and reading the phenomenal amounts of sugar (and remembering my poached quince from the other week), I was hesitant. I consulted my mother – it was mother’s day, and you know, mums do know best. She suggested poached pears or a pear crumble. Ofcourse she did – any excuse for a crumble.
I ended up poaching some pears. Recipes were calling for a quarter of lemon, I only had an orange. But the result, they were pear-fect.
4 bosc pears, peeled, cored & quarted.
2-3 cups of water
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of half an orange
½ tsp cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium heat, I brought the water, sugar, orange & cinnamon to the boil. I added the pears, reduced the heat and placed the lid on. I allowed the pot to simmer until the pears were tender, and then removed from heat. Using a slotted spoon, I removed the pears from the liquid and placed in a container, saving just a little of the liquid for that nice drizzle.
With the two remaining pears, I decided to enter new territory and bake a pear and ginger cake to take to work. I have fond memories of the flourless ginger cake made by one of the Dietitians on my food service placement. It blew my mind. As I have aged, I’ve realised that often the non-chocolate baked goods and desserts are the less sickly, more divine option. So after consulting google and collaborating with the pantry, I used this recipe as a guide. Due to the cake pan availability, I halved the batter. I went a little extra on the ginger, and replaced the sour cream with Chobani 0% greek yoghurt. As I had insufficient pears, I also reduced the butter and the sugar.
So the recipe, because I know you really would like it. The picture, and the Allied Health team says so.
Upside down pear & ginger cake
Sprinkle of brown sugar
2-3 tbsp melted butter
2 bosc pears – peeled, corned and quarted (2 cm-ish width)
80g butter, melted, cooled
½ cup golden syrup
½ tsp bicarb soda, sifted
1 ¼ cup plain flour, sifted (I used gluten free)
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
100g greek yoghurt
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees/140 degrees (fan forced). Line a 20cm round cake pan with baking paper (base & sides).
2. Sprinkle brown sugar on the base of the pan, and pour the butter over the sugar. Arrange the pear slices in a single layer over the butter and sugar.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining butter with the syrup, egg, soda, flour, ginger, mixed spice and sugar. Stir in the greek yoghurt.
4. Pour batter over pears. Now, my oven is very keen so it only took 40 minutes to bake and an inserted skewer came out clean. Yours may need a little longer. Allow to stand for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a plate.
Now, I made this cake first thing in the morning before breakfast and the batter just tasted too good. As I am #allabouttheporridge right now, a pear & ginger porridge was inevitable.
Pear & Ginger porridge.
1/3 cup traditional rolled oats
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or whichever milk you desire – full cream cow’s milk made this divine also)
½ – 1 tsp ginger (very much based on your preferences for zing)
½ – 1 pear
brown sugar, to taste
1. Combine the oats with the milk in a small saucepan and allow it to soak for 30-60 minutes. Take this time to have a coffee, put on a load of washing, read the paper, or you know, make a pear and ginger cake. To speed up the process, soaking overnight is absolutely fine.
2. Add in the pear, ginger and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. As it cooks, if you feel the need to add some more milk, go ahead – we all like our oats that little bit different.
3. Pour it into a bowl and sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar. I also used some of my poached pears.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Pears also make a good toast topping.
I have them sliced with peanut butter, or combined the poached pears with ricotta and a drizzle of honey.
It has been a pear-fect week.
P.s. I’m not sorry for the puns.