I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas had the most wonderful weekend with your families. Neil and I are currently in El Fuerte, Mexico, at the start of our trip into the Copper Canyon. We spent Christmas eve aboard the California Star travelling from Pichilingue to Topolobampo, eating possibly the worst meal of our trip so far with a hefty side of Dramamine (for me). Thankfully we had our own cabin and I got to nap it off. We ate Christmas eve dinner and Christmas dinner in Los Mochis, not the world’s most exciting town but it’s all an adventure, right?
Posting a recipe for fruit today was a deliberate choice since I realise you all may be looking for lighter dishes, especially desserts, after holiday indulgences and I love that you can buy pears into December. Pears were the one fruit I had not posted about for my generous IFBC sponsor, the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers and I was pleased to have found a lighter, yet still festive way to serve them!
For our recent President’s Choice party, we served a version of Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine and as it was, well, mulling, I tossed in two pears that I had on hand and poached them in the spiced wine. A perfect, light, yet flavourful dessert, I served it with a thicker custard than the traditional crème anglaise I usually serve poached pears with because it reminds me of childhood Christmas when we would get to eat custard whilst the grown ups ate the plum pudding
adapted from Jamie Oliver
• zest of 1 lemon
• zest of 3 oranges
• zest of 1 lime
• 1 lemon, halved
• 3 oranges, halved
• 1 lime, halved
• 250g caster sugar
• 20 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 2 star anise
• 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
Stick two cloves into each half of lemon, lime and orange. Pour wine into a large saucepan and add the zest then fruit, slightly squeezing to release some juice into the wine. Add the sugar, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Serve, avoiding the cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise.
I simply added the pears at the beginning of the process and they came out perfectly. Christmassy, yet light at the same time. The best combination. Try it – you’ll enjoy it!