November 20, 2010 15 Comments
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Stewed pears are something many Dutch people like to eat with their main meal as a side dish or for desert. We never stew apples (at least not as a nation) but stewed pears are popular, and you can also buy them ready-made in the supermarket – in the fruit section, in a plastic container with some of the juice.
Stewed pears are sweet and soft and especially nice with spicy food. We make sure they’re cooled down before we eat it; we might even refrigerate them for a while, if there’s time!
The pears we use are pears that are especially sold to make stewed pears: Giesser Wildeman pears. They are quite small, hard, and ugly looking. When cooked, they become soft and delicious.
Stewed Pears: What you need
1 kilogram (2 pounds or lbs) of hard pears, such as Giesser Wildeman
1 stick of cinnamon or a tablespoon of cinnamon powder
2 sachets of vanilla sugar, 8 grams (0.3 oz) each (this is just sugar with vanilla flavor, really)
2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
Stewed Pears: How to prepare
1. Peel the pears. You can either cut them in fours, take out the core OR leave them whole.
2. Put in a pan. If the pears are whole, stand them up in a pan that is just big enough (that way, you need less water, and the liquid will become more syrup-y).
3. Add water so the pears are just covered. Add cinnamon and cloves. Bring to the boil.
4. Add sugar and honey.
5. Put on a low heat for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, until the liquid becomes syrup-y. (I never manage to get a syrup, but maybe you will!) Stir every now and then.
Above the result after one hour of cooking. After 2 hours, the pears will be even more red-brown in colour:
6. Take the cloves and cinnamon stick out of the pan and let the pears cool down. Keep them in the refrigerator until use, and don’t forget to use the delicious syrup, too!