Cooking fruit sous vide (under a vacuum) is a great way to preserve the texture and fresh flavors of the fruit. Poached pears are one of my favorite desserts. Poaching fruit with a sous vide machine allows you to concentrate the sweetness and flavor of the of the pear while enriching it at the end with a reduction from the juices. These pears are spoon-tender and luxurious. A dollop of vanilla ice cream or cream is the perfect finishing touch.
2 large red Bartlett pears
3 ounces raw honey or sugar to taste
½ fresh vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 pods cardamom, crushed and ground
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons of butter
1/8 teaspoon flaky sea salt
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Step 1: Pick a Pear
In this recipe I use barlett. Put you can experiment with other types of pears like Anjou...
Step 2: Prepare the Pears for a Bath
Fill and preheat the SousVide machine and preheat to 175F/70C. Peel, core, and halve the pears.
Step 3: Add Flavors for Cooking
Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the back of a pairing knife to scrape all of the seeds out into a small bowl. Add the sugar or honey, zest, cardamom and salt. Using your fingers, rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar until well combined. Coat the pears. Put the pears into a cooking pouch and vacuum seal.
Step 4: Cook the Pears
Submerge in the water bath to cook for 30-60 minutes, depending on ripeness.
Step 5: Final Steps
Remove from the water bath. You can keep in the fridge until needed. If using right away, take the liquid from the sous vide bag and add it to a saucepan to reduce until it's a syrup and caramelized.
Step 6: Serve
To serve, either cut the pears into slices or keep them whole. Pour the syrup over them and serve with whipped cream, ice cream or as they are, bathed in delicious syrup.