As winter is almost upon us I like to have a few hidden gems stored away in my larder to pull out at the last minute. These are just that, fragrant autumn jewels that see me through the winter months. Simple as they are, they bring warmth to salty cheese and work perfectly with game. They’re also a wonderful addition to porridge – takes breakfast to another level. Honestly make a large batch, you won’t regret it!
Spiced Preserved Pears
- 1 Kg Pears (small conference, comice, D’Anjou or Forelle), not too ripe
- 825 ml Water
- 170 ml Apple cider vinegar
- 350 g Light brown sugar
- 3 star anis
- 2 cinnamon sticks approx 4cm in length
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 juniper berries
- Begin by peeling the pears, leaving the stem intact. I like to halve some of the pears and leave some whole as I think it looks pretty.
- Bring the water, vinegar and brown sugar to the boil with the aromatics. When the sugar has dissolved completely, lower the heat and with the syrup simmering, carefully drop the pears in. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. You will need to turn and baste the pears whilst they simmer so you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your saucepan.
- Once the pears are tender, remove them from the syrup and place into a sterilised kilner jar. Pour the hot syrup and the aromatics over the pears and seal. Let them sit in a dark place for 2 to 4 weeks or up to 3 months. Enjoy with meat, cheese or even porridge.
- The pears will keep for several days, once open in the fridge.