Silesian Heaven

  • Just back from a short holiday in Wroclaw which is in Silesia, Poland.
  • In a restaurant in the Old Town  I had Silesian Heaven  – Śląskie niebo – which was delicious.
  • Dried fruits such as apples, apricots, pears and  prunes are cooked with pork.
  • I have several recipes for pork with prunes – this has even more fruitiness.
  • This would have been a recipe for the winter months using all these dried fruits.

IMG-20230217-WA0003 (2)

  • I looked up several recipes for this.
  • I decided that shoulder pork would be the best option.
  • I used dried apples, apricots and prunes – I did not find any dried pears.
  • The recipe has to be started the evening before by soaking the dried fruits.
  • Some recipes cooked the pork and fruits for the same time BUT this makes the fruits like a thick sauce – this way I think is better.
  • NOTE
  • The prunes and apricots I used were the soft kind now more available –
  • If using the traditional very dried fruits you could adapt the timing of the fruit addition to earlier in the cooking.


  • 1kg of shoulder pork – steaks
  • 250g of prunes, dried apricots and dried apples
  • 750ml of vegetable or chicken stock
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt & pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Cover the dried fruits with boiling water.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Preheat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Fry the pork on both sides.
  • Place the pork in an ovenproof dish.
  • Pour the stock over this and stir.
  • Place a lid over the dish.
  • Cook for around 2 hours.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • *
  • Add the dried fruits and the liquid.
  • Add more liquid if a lot has evaporated.
  • Stir and put back in the oven for another hour.
  • *
  • Pour the lemon juice over top before serving.
  • *
  • Here served with pearl barley – but buckwheat or rice would be good or  boiled or mashed potatoes or potato dumplings.

Royal Doulton – Burgundy plate

OPTION – To be tried later

  • Use a joint of pork and roast over the dried fruits.
  • Similar to the recipe for Pork & Prunes.

Poached Pears

  • I recently went on a trip to The Netherlands to visit my old school friend.
  • We were invited out for a meal and this gave me a few ideas for recipes.
  • The main course was a venison gulasz with gingerbread, which was very reminiscent  of  my recipe for beef gulasz with piernik, which did originate in Belgium.
  • This was served with warm poached pears, which went really well together.
  • This year my small pear tree had a good crop of pears so I tried out a recipe.
  • Hard pears such as my Conference pears are best for this recipe.
  • The pears can be poached in a solution of red or white wine and sugar or just a sugar solution.
  • Sherry or port can be added afterwards when the liquor is thickened.
  • Various whole spices are added to the poaching solution.
  • *
  • You can also serve these poached pears chilled with thick Greek style yoghurt or budyń (Polish custard) or vanilla ice cream.
  • *
  • Below is the version I made.


  • 9-12 hard pears
  • 500ml water
  • 120 – 150g granulated sugar
  • Small piece of cinnamon bark
  • 4-6 whole cloves 
  • 4-6 allspice grains
  • *
  • 1 tablespoon potato or cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 tablespoons sherry


  • Peel the whole pears and if possible leave the stalk attached.
  • Put the pears into an oven proof dish – one with a lid.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C
  • *
  • Make a solution of water, sugar and the spices.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Pour the solution over the pears.
  • Put the lid on the dish.
  • Place the dish in the oven and cook for around 40 minutes.
  • *
  • Strain the liquor from the pears into a small saucepan
  • Mix the water with the potato or corn flour and add this to the liquor.
  • Heat with stirring to thicken.
  • Add the sherry and stir.
  • Pour this over the pears and serve.
  • Goes well with any gulasz or roast chicken, duck or pork.
  • *
  • Or leave to cool and then chill.

Pear & Walnut Salad

  • A very simple and slightly sweet salad.
  • Good with hot roast meats, chicken or duck.
  • Or even serve as a light lunch with bread and butter.


  • 2 large pears – peeled and chopped.
  • 100g walnuts – chopped
  • 100g crumbly white cheese – dry twaróg, Wensleydale or Lancashire
  • Mixed salad or shredded lettuce
  • *
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil


  • Put the salad leaves or lettuce at the base of the serving dish.
  • Mix the pears and walnuts together.
  • Put these on top of the salad leaves.
  • Crumble the cheese on top.
  • Mix the dressing together and pour over the top.
  • Mix the salad together and serve.

Cabbage Carrot & Pear Salad

  • This is a variation on my usual cabbage salad.
  • Mayonnaise is not used just lemon juice as a dressing. 
  • Rather than apples I used pears for this salad.
  • Conference pears or other hard pears are good for this.
  • The pears need to be ripe but not too “mushy”.
  • I would peel the pears as the skins are often very tough.


  • ½ head of white cabbage
  • 3-4 hard pears
  • 2 carrots
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • *
  • Chopped flat leafed parsley or chives to serve


  • Shred the cabbage into fine shreds.
  • Peel the pears and then coarse grate them.
  • Coarse grate the carrots.
  • Mix them all together.
  • Pour the lemon juice over them and mix.
  • Sprinkle with flat leaved parsley or chives.

Pear & Ginger Cake

Having recently made a lovely apple cake loosely based on an English Victorian recipe I thought I would adapt it using pears and ginger.


  • 4 pears (Conference are good) – peeled & cored and cut into rough 2.5cm chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs


  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case).
  • Mix the pears, ginger and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Leave whilst you prepare the cake mixture.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl whisk the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Place half the cake batter into the cooking tin.
  • Place half the pear mixture and juices on top of the cake batter.
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter.
  • Place the rest of the pear mixture evenly over the surface of the cake.
  • Bake for 60 – 65 minutes – cover and maybe another another 10 minutes if not done.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.

Served on Burleigh Ware, Burgess & Leigh Ltd, Blue Mist, stoneware tea plates from the 1930s.


Having made this, I thought about the French dessert Poire belle Hélène, which has a chocolate sauce poured over poached pears.

I made the cake again and when it was cool, I drizzled a chocolate sauce made from 40g of melted dark chocolate and 20g of butter over it.

Tea plates by Midwinter – Queensbury from the 1970s.


Cranberry & Pear Sauce

This is very popular in Poland, especially in the wintertime, and is served with hot roasts or cold meats and smoked sausages.

  • I cannot find any reference to when and why these two fruits were put together but they do make a good combination.
  • It is more like a conserve or a salsa  –  it is not a pouring sauce.
  • Many years ago I got a recipe from my aunty in Białystok. However I did not get around to to making this until recently, mainly because the pears in my garden are ripe in September but fresh cranberries are not  in the shops in England until around December.
  • As I could not use my own pears and I  decided to make this with bought produce.
  • The following proportions are used,  2 parts cranberries to 1 part pears (once they are peeled & cored).

  • Hard pears, such as Conference pears are best and it is better if they are ripe as they provide sweetness.
  • I find that “bought” cranberry sauce is often much too sweet and sickly.
  • It is difficult to judge how much sugar to add, I have given the quantities I used, it is easier to add some later, hard to take any away!

Version 1

This will keep for at least a week in a fridge – I pack the sauce into oven sterilised jars.

Ingredients – 1

  • 600g Cranberries
  • 300g Pears (once peeled and cored)
  • 300g Granulated sugar
  • 300ml of water


  • Rinse the cranberries and drain and put them into a plastic bag, flatten the bag and place it into a freezer for 24 hours.
  • The next day, take the cranberries out of the bag and put them into a bowl and cover them with boiling water then leave them for 30 minutes and then strain them.
  • Peel and core the pears and then cut them into rough cubes.
  • Place the cranberries in a thick bottomed pan and add the pears, sugar and the water.
  • Bring to the boil, mixing often then simmer gently for around 30 minutes, still stirring often.
  • Pour the sauce into hot sterilised jars – leave them to cool thoroughly  before putting on the lids.

Version 2

This will also keep for at least a week in a fridge – I pack the sauce into oven sterilised jars – it has a “fresher ” taste than version 1.

Ingredients -2

  • 600g Cranberries
  • 300g Pears (once peeled and cored)
  • 70 -100g Granulated sugar


  • Peel and core the pears and then cut them into rough cubes.
  • Place the cranberries in a thick bottomed pan and add the pears and 70g of the sugar and stir well.
  • Cover with a lid and heat gently for around 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and give the mixture a stir, continue doing this for around 15 minutes, when you check and stir you can test for sweetness and add up to another 30g of sugar.
  • Pour the sauce into hot sterilised jars – leave them to cool thoroughly  before putting on the lids.

Spiced Pears

I have two pear trees in the garden and this year I have had the best crop of pears ever,  both in number and size of pear.

As I do not have a place to store the fruit that is cool and dry enough,  I was looking for recipes to use the pears.

I tried this popular recipe from my great Polish standby recipe book but I found it too acidic.  I adjusted the recipe and used less vinegar and more sugar and this I find to be much better.


  • 1.5 kg of hard pears such as Conference
  • 300ml of water
  • 300ml of cider or white wine vinegar
  • 500g of granulated sugar
  • 8 cloves
  • 8 grains of allspice
  • Piece of cinnamon bark


Clean and sterilise 2 large glass jars.

Peel and core the pears and cut into large pieces.

Put the water, sugar and spices into a large pan and gently bring to the boil making sure the sugar is all dissolved.

Add the pears and bring back to the boil,  then gently simmer until the pears are soft and translucent.

Using a slotted spoon remove the pears and divide them between the jars.

To the liquid remaining in the pan add the vinegar and bring to the boil.

Leave this on a gently boil for around 5 minutes and then leave to cool.

Use a funnel to pour the liquid over the pears.

When the jars are cold put on the lids.

Store in a cool dry place or in a fridge.

Serve with hot roasts or cold meats, smoked sausages and cheeses.

The pears can be chopped into small pieces and used in various salads.

The spiced liquid can be used in salad dressings or in marinades for meat.

More Celeriac Salads

My Polish friend who lives in Leeds, just came back from a visit to Poland and mentioned a celeriac salad with carrots and apples that she had enjoyed.

This started me thinking and I made this one and then I tried out a couple of other ones as well.

Ingredients -1

Half a celeriac – peeled

2 -3 carrots

3 apples

Lemon juice

2- 3 tablespoons of soured cream

salt & pepper


A little bit of sugar

Method – 1

Coarse grate the celeriac.

Peel and then coarse grate the carrots.

Coarse grate 2 of the apples.

Leave the skin on the other apples, remove the core  and chop it into small pieces.

In a bowl mix the celeriac, carrots and apple together.

Add the juice of a lemon and the soured cream and mix well.

Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.




I think this tastes best when made a few hours before serving.

Ingredients -2

Half a celeriac – peeled

2-3 hard pears (Conference are good)

3-4 tomatoes

1-2  tablespoons of olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & pepper

A little bit of sugar

Method – 2

Coarse grate the celeriac.

Peel the pears and remove the core and chop them into small chunks.

Chop the tomatoes into small chunks.

Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix.

Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.




Ingredients -3

Half a celeriac – peeled

2-3 apples (Braeburn) are good

2-3  red peppers

1-2  tablespoons of olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & pepper

A little bit of sugar

Method – 3

Coarse grate the celeriac.

Chop the red peppers into small squares.

Blanch them with boiling water and leave to cool.

Strain and the dry the peppers – with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper.

Leave the skin on the apples, remove the core and chop them into small pieces.

Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix.

Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.


Three Celeriac Salads









Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton dishes from 1982 – 1998.