Friday, November 19, 2010

Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry


Poaching fruit is one of my favorite things to do when cold weather arrives.  It's so warming to stand over a boiling pot of fragrant spices and lose yourself in thought.  When I made these, I couldn't help but daydream as I stirred;  if I were a pear... I wouldn't want to spend my days on the shelf of a cold produce department.  I'd want to be taken to a warm home and placed in a jacuzzi of honey and spices.  I'd want to be wrapped in an extra long puff pastry scarf and baked until golden and toasty.

That sounds a little silly, but that's what I'd want... if I were a pear. 

The idea for these came from the Pepperidge Farm website.  They looked so much like little bee hives that I decided to poach them with honey. 


On a personal note, our Christmas tree is already up courtesy of  Mr. Baird.  I have (gratefully) been inundated with projects and handed the tree decorating baton over to him.  I am ashamed to say that I was hesitant to do this. I'm a little obsessive when it comes to decorating, and my past Christmas trees have been a little too "department-store looking" (his words).  I must say, his new ornament choices are charming, and have an almost Scandinavian feel.  I love it!



Since poaching is a relatively easy task, I'll skip to some helpful tips for wrapping the pears in puff pastry.  You'll need a small cup of water, a paint brush and 1 sheet of puff pastry cut into 1/2 inch strips.


The poaching liquid has a high concentration of sugar, so your pears will be sticky.  The pastry will have no problem sticking to the surface of the pear.  Begin wrapping the puff pastry in a tight spiral from the bottom of the pear up.  When you come to the end of your first strip of pastry (above, left) brush a little water on the end and press to adhere the pastry pieces. Continue to wrap in a tight spiral.


When you reach the top, tuck in the end piece of pastry behind the last spiral.




Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry                  [click for printable]

4 small pears
1 sheet of ready made puff pastry dough, thawed
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded with hull reserved
3 sticks of cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves

Peel pears and core from the bottom.  Cut the bottom of the pears strait across, so they will stand upright.  Set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, combine the 4 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  When the sugar has melted, add the pears, vanilla seeds and hull, 1/2 lemon, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer pears until they are fork tender.  This can take 20-40 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your pears.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

When the pears are soft, remove them from the pot and allow them to cool slightly.  Discard solid pieces from saucepan and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid.  While pears are cooling, cut the puff pastry into 1/2" strips.  One sheet of puff pastry will cover 4 small pears.  Large pears will need a second sheet of puff pastry to compensate.

Wrap cooled pears with puff pastry starting at the bottom and working upwards.  When you come to the end of a pastry strip, brush it lightly with water and press to adhere to the next pastry strip.  Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear.  Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral.  Place wrapped pears on a parchment lined jelly roll pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown. 

Simmer the reserved poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy.  Plate pears and top with syrup.


*NOTE: Your favorite blend of spices can be used in this recipe - go crazy! 

93 comments:

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

These are so beautiful! And I love that your tree is up already. Ours is going up this weekend!

Caroline said...

Beautiful! Never thought to wrap poached pears in pastry, I'll have to try that!

Sweetapolita said...

You are amazing--it's insane! Beee-u-tee-full!

Mrs. Puma said...

This is one of the most beautiful fruit dishes I've ever seen, I love it!

koralee said...

Oh my friend...now that is a Pear fit for a KING!!!! Your images always inspire..stunning. xoxoxo

Jane Ko said...

That's a brilliant idea! You're always so inspiring. & gorgeous pictures as usual!

Kathleen said...

These look like little works of art!!!

Julia said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! I mean really, it such a perfect looking dessert!

Katie Yoon said...

wow!! Look so beautiful! I am sure that taste is very good too^^

Christy said...

these pears are gorgeous. i make poached pears quite frequently, but haven't thought to wrap them like a beautiful gift as you have.

Justin said...

wow, i'm not even a fan of pears, but those look really cool

ButterYum said...

Oh my, they're stunning! Love the little Russian doll ornament too.

Have a great weekend.

Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) said...

This has to be one of the most elegant desserts I've ever seen. Absolutely beautiful! Plus, I've been meaning to try to make poached pears anyway, and this recipe of yours is my best excuse yet. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad I found your blog, Heather.

Katie Bright said...

This looks incredible!! Already planning to make it soon! :)

Life love, clutter and other beautiful things. said...

YUM!!! What a gorgeous idea to wrap them in puff pastry!! xox

Debs said...

Your pears sound and look delicious.

I can't believe your xmas tree is up already. The sun is shining here in Spain and it just doesn't feel like xmas yet!

Beth said...

Your pears are so lovely. I'll have to bookmark this one -- it looks delicious and easy!

Lauren said...

What a gorgeous presentation! I bet the pears taste simply delicious :).

Su-yin said...

These are absolutely gorgeous - and so simple as well! Amazing. :)

Kelly said...

They look soooo good!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Just the looks of these are sooo fancy--I bet they taste amazing too :-)

cookies and cups said...

gorgeous...! Love the new look too!

A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

This looks delicious and those ornaments are adorable! Do you happen to know where they came from? They're totally my ornament style!

lacasitainspirada said...

What a great idea! The pears look so neat like this. I love poached pears, I will have to give this a try!

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

oh my word, these are gorgeous and i can't imagine how amazing they taste!

Jehanp said...

Such a beautiful and classy dessert, love it! I also love your cute owl :-).

Yue Edwards said...

wow, it looks so yummy!!! nice presentation too

SprinkleBakes said...

To A Bitchin' Kitchen, (Hi there!)

Most all of the ornaments came from Target. I only found a link to the owls online, but they should be available in-store most everywhere. (I would think).

The little wooden owls link:

http://tinyurl.com/2d4gmqa

Samantha said...

amazing looking! seriously drooling over here!

Lydia said...

They look like little beehives! I would so make a little bumblebee somehow to put beeside it! But I'm dorky like that.

Alyssa said...

These are simply gorgeous! I can't wait to make them for my family and see their jaws drop :)

Lili said...

You always take a recipe to the next level and I just love your pear analogy regarding the jacuzzi! You are so delightful! As usual your presentation is flawless. And that sweet little hooty owl on your tree, yes Mr. Baird did REAL good! ~Lili

andreagroves said...

Wow. These are beautiful! And I'm sure yummy, too.

mal said...

amazing, i can't wait to try them!

Lindsay Jewell said...

Hah! I love their little scarves. Nice presentation.

And I'm liking your tree decorations. :)

Ingrid said...

I keep thinking your not gonna top your last post and yet time and time again you do it.

Fabulous photos!
~ingrid

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Heather, you are the Master (Mistress?) of gorgeous desserts. Love this! Thanks for sharing with us.
Best regards,
Gloria P.S. Love your/your hubby tree decorations!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

This is such a creative idea Heather! Love what you say here - "jacuzzi of honey and spices" Yes, enrobed in the pastry & honey is a much more fun place than the grocery store. Gotta tweet this now!! xo

Courtney said...

Wow, these are gorgeous. Amazing pictures!

Megan said...

If I were a pear, I'd want you to buy me! ;)
This looks totally awesome. I would love to see pictures of your decorations this holiday! (hint hint)

Kristen said...

This is simply amazing...what a gorgeous idea for a holiday table.

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

These look spectacular! I can't wait to get my Christmas tree, then it really feels like the holidays.

di_ani said...

These pears look beautiful and delicious.
Great idea and photos.
Greetings, Diana

Chocolate Shavings said...

It seems that we were both in a pear mood! I just made poached pears with a chocolate sauce

http://ourchocolateshavings.blogspot.com/2010/11/poached-pears-with-chocolate-ganache_19.html

I love the idea of wrapping them in puff pastry!

Amanda said...

I featured you today on my blog I would love if you stopped by to check it out! Todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

Amanda

Kristan said...

GORGEOUS!!

These look so beautiful and yummy!!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh my stars!!! Those are STUNNING! Just stunning!

Maria said...

So gorgeous!!

We Are Not Martha said...

Wow, these look absolutely beautiful! I'm super impressed :) Perfect to impress all your holiday guests! :)

Sues

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

This is probably one of the most amazingly pretty desserts I've ever seen. I can't wait to try making it. :)

Fashion Meets Food said...

not only is this absolutely beautiful it looks super good. Perfect for the holiday!

xo

Heather said...

Oh my goodness, what a pretty way to dress up poached fruit. I bookmarked this as soon as I saw it.

augustafternoon said...

Amazing!!

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

What an absolutely lovely presentation! My mom and I just decided we're making this for Christmas. :-)

Cookin' Canuck said...

This is absolutely stunning! What a unique idea. That is one happy-looking pear.

Vel J. said...

Wow, this looks soooo yummi!!! I am making this for Christmas :) Thanks.

anna said...

I love this. Very very elegant and the honey is a great touch!

Joy said...

That is so creative. I love it.

CouldBeKim said...

Could you make this ahead of time as dessert for a dinner party? I'm wondering if you could poach the pears, wrap in pastry and put in the freezer until time to bake. Would they bake up properly? Would the pear turn to mush if it's set out for too long (even if it's in the freezer)?

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi CouldBeKim!

The pears may be mealy-textured after freezing, and the puff pastry needs to be baked from a thawed state. You could poach the pears the day before and refrigerate them, then wrap them in the puff pastry the next day. The poaching is what takes the most time, but the wrapping is easy and goes very quickly.

I hope this helps!

diva said...

Oh this looks simply too beautiful! I think pears don't get used enough as desserts over here but this...oh, I do want to try this!

Anonymous said...

How the HELL do you eat it?

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

Thank you, Thank you. I not in doubt how to eat this at all.

Lisa xx

SprinkleBakes said...

To Anonymous - If you can't figure out how to eat it with a fork, then use a knife also.

To Lisa - Thank you for such a nice comment. xo

Anonymous said...

This would be delightful with forelle pears as well, I think! They would make the perfect bite sized desserts for a cocktail party.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh this sounds delicious! I'm going to try this, but I will include a little wine in the poaching broth....

shapewear said...

They look like small honeybee hives but waaay more delicious.

Sarah said...

Hi there! These look amazing, and I want to try them for Christmas Day Dinner! One thing - did you use a particular type of pear? Sorry if this is already stated and I missed it. I like pears but don't know about which types are best for cooking/poaching/etc. We have a pretty limited selection in our grocery store, hope I can find what I need! Thanks for your beautiful post.

ashley said...

probably one of the most gorgeous eatables i've seen in a while!

Shelby said...

Beautiful blog! Your pear dessert would make Grumpy very happy! He loves pears!

Brian Snedeker said...

I am hardly a pro in the kitchen, but I decided this sounded too delicious and I had to try it. I couldn't manage to core them without cutting the tops off, so already the presentation suffered. And, I used pears that were too ripe, so two of them fell apart during the poaching. Still, two of them survived, I wrapped them with the pastry, and cooked them up while reducing the syrup. Out of the oven, my wife and I dug in -- yum! Almost TOO sweet, but is there any such thing really? I'm going to make these for some dinner party, maybe try different, more savory spices. Thanks! --Brian (bsned2@gmail.com) P.S. I found this recipe by stumbleupon!

witty said...

greetings from Greece

Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies said...

I just stumbled upon this and it looks absolutely beautiful! Now I'm wishing I hadn't just turned my last few pears into pear butter.

Feast on the Cheap said...

They almost look too good to eat! Almost...

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Mmmm poached peaches are my favourite!

Barkhouse said...

These are so gorgeous, I can't wait to try making them! How do you eat them?

Dan said...

I love any sort of dessert that involves pears. How beautiful are these!

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Amazing.
Sooo good even though it's my first time poaching anything =) It was perfect, I served it with very creamy vanilla ice cream to compensate the sweetness of the poaching liquid. I used the rest of the liquid for pear-flavoured syrup, to eat with waffles tomorrow.

Thank you for the inspiration!

Emily @ ReMarkable Home said...

Looks Divine! I pinned it to Pinterest!

Barefoot Apron said...

I found you on Pintrest. I made them for dinner tonight and the plates licked clean. I also mentioned you on my blog. Check it out if you've got time! http://barefootapron.blogspot.com/

SweetSugarBelle said...

These are absolutely stunning!!!

Anonymous said...

These were amazing! And they left the kitchen smelling wonderful!

Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles said...

All I can say is WOW! that is amazing. I think I am going to put this on mu Christmas menu! Thanks for sharing :) Pinning it!
Come see me at http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/

Donne Milano said...

It looks delicious! I think I'll try the recipe...thanks for sharing!

Jenny@ flowers tea said...

Wow, what a lovely presentation!!! it's not only look good but delicious as well. Perfect plating!

Holly said...

I've made these twice now... and savor every single bite! What a great dessert option instead of cookies, cake, and the rest of the heavy hitters... not that those all don't have a warm fuzzy place in my heart. ;o)

vedette said...

YUM, these look so good, and classy. I cant wait to try out this recipe.

EliCizew said...

I just finished making them, they are quite delicious and easy to do even for someone with as little skill in dessert making as I have.

Anonymous said...

Wondering how you core them???

Bakeca Incontri Ravenna said...

Awesome! I adore this recipe!

Cathleen said...

Wow, this looks fantastic! What a delicious treat!

Tanya said...

I want to make these for our new year's party, but I'm worried about timing. Do you have to serve these right away, or can they be made ahead of time (3-4 hours or so) without getting soggy before serving time?

Heather Baird said...

Hi Tanya!

3-4 hours ahead should be fine. I wouldn't suggest refrigerating them during this time, though. Maybe keep them covered loosely with aluminum foil on the pan. You can always re-heat them and crisp them in the oven for 5 minutes - just keep a watchful eye.

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