When we made the tree change nearly two years ago, we brought with us 40 plus fruit trees to be planted. One of these trees is a Paradise Pear…
Now that they are all happily growing in our garden, they are still too young to produce any substantial crops, and this year the Paradise Pear has borne just two beautiful little fruit that have had me intrigued about their texture and flavour, and most of all, what I would be doing with them in the future!
Last week I was very excited to come across a box of these little pint sized pears, and quickly purchased one kilogram to bring home and experiment with.
With a little research I discovered that Paradise Pears are also referred to as Cocktail Pear, Crystal Pear, Faccia Bella Pear or Sugar Pear, and are available in summer (December, January, February) here in Australia. As they mature, they change colour from green to gold and develop a beautiful red blush when fruit is ripe, and they have a crisp white flesh. While they can be stored at room temperature, they can also be stored in the refrigerator to prolong their life, but they should be eaten at room temperature.
The little fruit is borne in bunches on trees that grow to approximately 4×4 metres in an upright form – ours wont have the chance to grow that big as I have espaliered it at step-over height together with other pears and apples at the entrance to our veggie patch. Requiring minimal spur pruning while the tree matures, they do best in temperate to cool regions, and given their deep root system they require deep watering during hot dry spells. Trees start producing after approximately three years, and while pollination is unknown for paradise pears, it is suggested that Corella maybe a suitable cross – I have a number of varieties, none of which are the Corella, so we will see.
A perfect addition to salads, Paradise Pears can be wrapped in prosciutto as part of an antipasto platter, stewed or brandied with sugar for desserts, or pickled in spiced vinegar, but I think that it is on a cheese platter where they star.
. Note to self – make more blue cheese.
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 thin strips orange rind
- 1 thin strip lemon rind
- 1 vanilla bean halved lengthways
- 375 ml bottle red wine
- 500 g Paradise pears pealed
Combine red wine, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, orange rind, lemon rind and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
Add the pears and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Cover with a cartouche (see notes) and continue to simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the pears are tender.
Pack the pears into a warm, sterilised glass jar, cover with the liquid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Serve with your favourite cheese for a cheese course, or alternatively serve with creme anglaise, double cream or ice cream as a dessert.
- Cartouche – For a cartouche, simply cut a circle of parchment/baking paper slightly larger than the dimension of your pot, scrunch it up and place under running cold water to dampen and soften it. Flatten it and then place it onto the liquid surface of a casserole, soup, stock or sauce. This slows down the evaporation, prevents a skin from forming and helps to keep the ingredients submerged, as well as moist.
Until next time…
Bon appétit & happy gardening!
- Blue Cheese with Paradise Pears Poached in Mulled Wine
- Paradise Pears Poached in Mulled Wine
- Pears Poached in White Wine Syrup