Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pickled Paradise Pears

Janet from Taste Space is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and I continue my quest to find the cutest fruit and veg - this time I've found Paradise Pears.

paradise pears© by Haalo


That isn't an oversized glass, they really are that small.

In Italy these are known as Faccia Bella - which means beautiful face - I have no idea how they then came to be called Paradise. They are green skinned but marked with a distinctive red blush on one side. The flesh is crisp and sweet.

When I was trying to work out what to do with these pears besides just looking at them and going "awww, they are soooo cute" I decided I needed to do something that wouldn't hide the fact that they are really tiny pears.

I really didn't want to do anything sweet as there will be more than enough sweet things between now and Valentines day. Then it dawned on me that they were kind of pickling onion sized and then the lightbulb went off, I should pickle these pears. For the pickling liquid instead of using a regular vinegar I've used white balsamic - it's a mix of white grape must and white wine vinegar.

pickled paradise pears© by Haalo



Pickled Paradise Pears

paradise pears
white balsamic
water
sugar


Rather than give exact quantities, I will list proportions as this is the type of dish that can easily be scaled up or down to suit.

The white balsamic I used was a white balsamic that had been infused with mixed berries - I used this to add a little colour to the pears. If you use straight white balsamic you won't see any colour change in the pears.

I used approximately 1 part white balsamic to 1 part water and then added enough sugar to make a sweetish vinegar solution.

The pears have been peeled and then halved leaving the core inside - as they are so small trying to remove the core is a bit pointless and would probably compromise the structure of the pear. You could leave the pears unpeeled, they won't look as nice but they will taste the same.

Once the pickling liquid comes to a simmer, add in the prepared pears - you could also add some spices like star anise, bay leaf, ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon or juniper berries.

Simmer the pears until they have started to soften and then remove from the heat and allow them to cook through in the residual heat.

Strain the pears, reserving the pickling liquid. Return the liquid to a pan and place on a medium heat - simmer this liquid until it reduces by a third. Add the pears back to the pan and toss them through this reduced liquid.

Pour the pears and liquid into a sealable, glass jar and store them in the fridge.

Serve these as an accompaniment to cheese or cold meats.

10 comments:

  1. Hi, This recipe is really delicious, When I find the pears will try to make it so. Bye bye Kris

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  2. Where did you find them? They're cute! Nice recipe too.

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  3. they sound reallyb delicious, haalo, and the syrup is super!
    they usually give funny names sometime, think there is another quality of tiny pears called "pere coscie", literally thigh pears, all green, and ... I leave to your imagination what they look like! ... well, I shoud say a slender "top model thigh"!
    have a nice week!

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  4. Thanks Kris - hope you find them!

    Hi Suzy - not sure where you can find them in England, here in Melbourne, I found them at Prahran Market

    Thanks Cinzia - the coscie pears look lovely but there is one Italian pear I wish we had here, Pere Abate.

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  5. I know what you mean, Haalo, Pere Abate are my favorite!!!

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  6. Just those fresh pears look like paradise, what a beautiful color, never saw them before.

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  7. It seems my comment is missing..I said I feel the same of Cinzia and you about Abate pears. I knew about coscia pears but never heard about your Paradise pears..they look very similar anyway. Delicious recipe and nice photos!

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  8. Another lover of pere abate is here. This is a very interesting use of small pears, Haalo. I remember eating small green pears as a child: each one was gone in a few bites. We got them from farmers and I don't remember how they referred to them.

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  9. Thanks Priya!

    Thanks Acky - when I get back to Italy, I will feast on Abate pears!

    Thanks Simona - i'm wondering if these are really sold in italy as Faccia Bella or if that's just a marketing line they use to sell them here.

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  10. Found these pears today in Woolworths. $2.95 for a cointainer. They are still a little green so shall wait a day or two for them to ripen as my short people love juicy pears and these were "sooo cute!!"

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