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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

Little Honey Cakes

  • This recipe, which only uses honey as the sweetener, is based on an old Yorkshire recipe.
  • It would be quite “at home” with Polish recipes for pierniczki.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g butter
  • 225 plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 130g runny honey
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • (A little milk – maybe needed)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease two large baking trays.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Rub in the butter till it is like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mixed spices, caraway seeds and ginger.
  • Mix in the honey and egg to give a soft dough.
  • (Should it not be soft enough – add a dash of milk).
  • With lightly floured hands make balls with the dough (larger than walnut).
  • Place the balls on the baking tray – leaving room for them to spread.
  • Flatten the balls slightly.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool on the trays before removing.

Miodownik – 3

  • This is honey & spice cake, which could be made for Christmas time.
  • I saw this cake recently in a post by Thistles and Kiwis thistlesandkiwis.org whose interesting blog I follow. 
  • It is adapted from “In Good Company” by Sophie Hansen.
  • I have adapted it a little to make it more like a Polish Cake.
  • In this cake butter is used rather than oil as in my Mama’s miodownik.
  • This cake can be made at the last minute for Wigilia(Christmas Eve) or Christmas Day.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 240g runny honey
  • 260g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs – beaten
  • 200g full fat Greek style yoghurt
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust or lemon icing

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line a 32 x 22cms or 26 x 20cm cake tin.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add the honey and mix well together.
  • Add the orange zest.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour together.
  • Add the sugar and spices.
  • Add the eggs and yoghurt and mix well.
  • Add the butter and honey mixture.
  • Mix everything together to give a thick batter.
  • Pour into the prepared tin.
  • Cook for 30 -35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve or glaze with a thin lemon icing.*

Royal Standard – Lyndale tea plate – 1949 – 1960.

*Option – Add a Chocolate glaze – this one was some Chocolate with Orange Peel melted with butter.

 

  • The china tray is by Ross Dean in Burslem
  • The octagonal tea plate is by Paragon – Made in England and hand-painted.