At this week's Saturday morning Palo Alto Farmer's Market, I found a stand tucked in a back corner selling the most amazingly priced fresh flowers, and tucked in the back of that stand was a huge bucket full of amazingly fragrant rosemary. And I couldn't resist. So now I have a gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers and rosemary beautifying and fragrant-fying my dining room!
But you can't just waste awesome rosemary like that--I *had* to find a way to make pancakes with it. (My friends and I have a joke that every time I see something, the first thing that pops to my mind is, "Can I cook it?" It's actually not too far off....) And, another obsession of mine during the fall is pears, of which I had many extra-ripe ones lying around that desperately needed to be used. So was born this week's rosemary pancakes with poached pears!
with poached pears
This was much more delicate fare than the extravagant creaminess of previous weeks' Pancakes of the Week (like here or here), but it was perfect for the overcast day we had. The subtlety of the poached pears with sweet white wine comes through when you first take a bite and then the rosemary suddenly comes in at the end, leaving a great spiciness in your mouth. Yum, yum!
Poached Bosc Pears
I am going to have to think about what else I can do with all this great rosemary sitting on the kitchen table right now. Exciting! :-)
Read on for recipes!...
A note about the order of the recipes: the poached pears need to poach for about 20 minutes, so start these first. While they poach, prepare the pancake batter. Then, towards the end of the 20 minutes of poaching, start the pancakes. Continue to allow the pears to simmer while the pancakes are cooking and they should finish at about the same time. Make sure to serve this warm! Drizzle a bit of the poaching syrup on the pears and pancakes for an extra bit of taste.
makes 4 whole pears
Please note that the amounts in this recipe are approximate.
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole vanilla bean
3 extra ripe Anjou pears
4 medium ripe Bosc pears
1. In a deep medium saucepan, combine the white wine, water, sugar. Split the vanilla bean; scrape the seeds into the saucepan and add the entire bean.
2. In a food processor, puree the extra ripe Anjou pears. Strain the puree through a fine sieve into the wine mixture in the saucepan.
3. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a simmer.
4. Meanwhile, use a melon baller to remove the center of the bosc pears, starting from the bottom. You should end up with a whole pear and a hollow column about 2 inches in from the bottom of the pear. Peel each bosc pear, being careful to leave the stems. (I was most successful using a vegetable peeler, though I also tried a knife.)
5. Once the wine mixture has come to a simmer, add the bosc pears. Cook at a simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes and prepare the rosemary pancakes in the meantime.
makes about 15-18 silver dollar pancakes
8oz. buttermilk (I used buttermilk because I had that on hand. Regular milk should work fine.)
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 tspn vanilla
8 oz. flour
2 Tbspn sugar
2 tspn baking powder
2 Tbspn fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tspn salt
1. Combine buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk thoroughly.
2. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Batter will be thick. (If the batter is too thick, I thinned it out a little with a tiny bit of the pear poaching syrup.)
3. Oil lightly a medium hot skillet and cook the pancakes.
4. Serve pancakes with hot poached pears. Drizzle a little bit of poaching liquid on top pear and pancakes.