Recipe: POACHED PEAR FRITTERS
- To poach the pears
- 3 Anjou or Bartlett pears
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- For the batter:
- 2 tbs yeast
- 1 1/2 cups beer
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- For the pomegranate sauce:
- 6 pomegranates
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- To serve:
- 1/2 cup lavender honey
Poach the pears
Peel skin from the pears. Working with one pear at a time, remove the core. Start at the bottom and gently core without breaking through the top. Use a thin paring knife to pierce the pear one inch from the top, and gently wiggle the knife to release the core without cutting off the top. Repeat until all pears are cored.
Combine the sugar and water in a 2-quart sauce pot. Set the pears in the pot and cover with a plate which fits just inside, to weigh down the pears. Place over high heat and cook until the water just begins to boil, reduce heat to low. and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the plate from the top of the sauce pot. Test the pears by gently pinching them. Continue simmering until they feel like an almost-ripe plum; remove from heat. Reserve the pears in the covered pot until pears and poaching liquid are at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill overnight.
Prepare the batter:
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the yeast and beer. Mix until smooth, then add the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk until smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to ferment at room temperature for 1 hour.
Add enough oil to a large, high-sided pot (or deep fryer) to fill the pot by half, and heat until a thermometer reads 350 F.
Remove the pears from the refrigerator and cut into ½” pieces. Mop up excess syrup with paper towels.
Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl containing the batter. Using a long handled fork, dip the pear pieces one at a time into the batter, and carefully place in the fryer. Fry each piece until it is golden brown, remove from oil and transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all pear pieces are fried. Set aside.
For the pomegranate sauce:
Cut the pomegranates in half. Take one pomegranate half and hold it over a bowl, cut side facing the bowl, and using the back of a ladle, gently pound the back of the pomegranate to release the seeds into the bowl. Repeat with remaining pomegranate halves.
Wearing rubber gloves, use your hands to crush the seeds to render their juice. Set a fine strainer over a non-reactive sauce pot. Transfer the pomegranate seeds and juice to the sieve and gently push on the seeds with your hands to release all the juice.
Add the apple to the juice and the sugar to the pot, and place over medium heat. Cook until the apples are almost dissolved. Remove from heat, strain and reserve juice.
Set out two serving dishes. Divide the fritters between both plates. Drizzle honey over the fritters and spoon pomegranate sauce around the edges.
Yield: 2 servings