Thursday, December 3, 2009

Simplicity: Seckel pear with vanilla sugar

Two words: Thanksgiving detox.  Okay, make that four words: Halloween and Thanksgiving detox.  After a month of nonstop candy and another month of lavish, rich dinners, I just crave something incredibly simple.

Seckel pear with vanilla sugar

"Simple" is actually a term that my roommate has pretty much banned me from using in the kitchen, namely because she argues that my definition and idea of "simplicity" is a far cry from anyone else's.  Especially after doing dessert catering jobs, whipping up a spontaneous pie (pie crust from scratch.  ALWAYS.) or a batch of chocolates or a stack of pancakes on the weekends is simple to me.  But I guess her argument is that that's not simple for the average college/graduate student.  So hence the Stephanie-specific ban on using "simple."

I think this dessert here would most definitely fit under my roommates idea of "simple" because it's nothing but a juicy, ripe pear and lightly flavored vanilla sugar.  And sometimes, that's all you need.  The vanilla sugar adds the perfect hint of crispy sweetness and fragrance to an already-incredibly-flavorful fresh pear, which is surprisingly elegant in its pure simplicity and cleanliness of flavors.

Trust me, this is the perfect antidote to the past two months of total overeating overload.  What's more, I think I've earned the right to use the word "simple" again.

Read on for recipe...

Seckel pear with vanilla sugar

1 vanilla bean
Dry white wine (an extra-dry sherry works perfectly here)
Seckel pears

for vanilla sugar:

1. Fill a clean jar with sugar.
2. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar in the jar.  Mix.
3. Bury the vanilla bean in the sugar as well.
4. Seal the jar tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week until the sugar absorbs the vanilla fragrance.

to assemble pears:

1. Dip the bottom half of a whole Seckel pear into dry white wine.
2. While still wet, dip the bottom half of the same pear into vanilla sugar.  Shake off excess sugar.
3. Serve immediately.

Keep the extra vanilla sugar in the jar (with the vanilla bean) for other baking or cooking purposes!  It's a great ingredient to have on hand.

Also, if you want the pears to keep their sugar a bit longer (i.e., if you're not serving immediately), substitute the white wine with pasteurized egg whites.  But, it just doesn't taste quite as good without that mild whiff of wine.


1 comment:

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!