Easy Stewed Pears

These easy Stewed Pears are a healthy and versatile recipe to make in Winter. Cooked with Lemon, Oranges, Spices and No Refined Sugar, these fragrant poached pears are deliciously soft and packed with flavours! Why we love this recipe There is nothing that I love more than these quick, easy and oh so flavourful stewed... Read More The post Easy Stewed Pears appeared first on A Baking Journey.

Easy Stewed Pears

These easy Stewed Pears are a healthy and versatile recipe to make in Winter. Cooked with Lemon, Oranges, Spices and No Refined Sugar, these fragrant poached pears are deliciously soft and packed with flavours!

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Why we love this recipe

There is nothing that I love more than these quick, easy and oh so flavourful stewed pears in Winter. This healthy pear recipe is not only super simple, it is also extremely versatile.

Just like this Stewed Rhubarb in Spring, these Poached Pears can be used on their own, with yogurt or ice cream, on oatmeal, as a breakfast topping or even over a cake.

It is a great recipe if you are looking for an easy way to use lots of pears and it will fill your kitchen with delicious smells of citrus and spices. And you don't even need processed sugar to make it!

Ingredients

Ingredients on a white surface.

These stewed pears are made with 6 simple ingredients (plus water), but you can very much add, change or substitute some of then to try different combination.

  • Pears: go for a fruit that is somewhere between unripe and ripe. A very ripe pear will quickly turn into mush in the stewing liquid while a very firm pear will take a long time to stew.
  • Citrus: a combination of Lemon for a little bit of acidity and Orange for sweetness. I used both the Peels and the Juices to add lots of flavour to the poaching liquid. If you want a slightly less citrusy flavour, use the peels only.
  • Maple Syrup: this natural liquid sweetener will add lots of flavour to the dish that works so well with the spices. You can adjust the quantities to make the stewed pears more or less sweet, depending on their natural sweetness and your preferences.
  • Spices: Cinnamon and Star Anise (two of my favourite spices). I recommending using Sticks/Pods instead of the powdered spices that might remain on the fruit and add a grainy texture to the dish.

Substitution

  • Sweetener: the maple syrup can be substituted with basically any liquid sweetener like Honey or Agave Syrup. You could use White or Brown Sugar if preferred, simply insure that the sugar has dissolved in the liquid before adding the pears.
  • Spices: you can really play with any of your favourite spices here - add, substitute, replace,... you could for example use Cloves, Cardamom, Nutmeg or even Ginger.

Additions

So many ingredients can be added to this recipe to make it your own. The Water can for example be replaced with (or combined with) White Wine or Red Wine like with these Red Wine Poached Pears. You can also add Vanilla if you want.

Ingredients in a saucepan.

How to make Stewed Pears

Making this pear stew is seriously easy - you just need a cutting board and a saucepan!

  • Photo 1: Peel and Juice the Orange and Lemon. Place in a medium size Saucepan. Add the Water, Maple Syrup, Star Anise and Cinnamon. Stir then turn on low heat.
  • Photo 2: while the stewing liquid is heating up, peel the Pears, cut them in quarters (or halves) and remove the core. You can leave the peels if you preferred.
  • Photo 3: leave to simmer on a low to medium low heat for 15 to 25 minutes, or until soft but still holding their shape (see tips below).
  • Photo 4: use a small knife to check if the pears are ready. They should feel quite soft.
  • Remove the stewed pears slices from the liquid and leave to cool down at room temperature. Once cool, store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Process Shot Collage.

Tips for Success

  • The quantity of water needed might depend based on the size of your saucepan. The pears need to be fully covered by the liquid, so add more water if required.
  • The stewing time will depend on how ripe the fruits are, the size of the pan and the temperature of the stove. Check the consistency the pears with a small knife and take out of the heat when soft (they will continue to soften slightly while cooling down).
  • Keep the poaching liquid to store the pears in if you want, or continue to reduce on the stove until it turns into a syrup.
  • Simply blend until smooth (or chunky) with a regular blender or immersion blender to make Pear Compote.

How to use these Poached Pears

My favourite way to use these stewed pears is over Yogurt with a little bit of Maple Syrup, some Almonds, Ground Cinnamon and a little bit of Orange Peels.

There are so many other delicious ways to enjoy these pears though, for example

  • with Ice Cream
  • as a topping for Pancakes, Waffles or French Toast
  • with Granola or Oatmeal
  • to make pastries like these Pear Frangipane Tartlets or inside a cake like this Chocolate Pear Cake.
  • on their own!
Poached pears over yogurt in a white bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Should I use ripe or unripe pears?

Go for fruits somewhere in between firm and ripe. Very firm pears will take a long time to poach and ripe pears will quickly start to fall apart in the stewing syrup.

What are the best pear varieties to stew?

You need to use a pear that is naturally sweet and will hold its shape when cooked. The best pears to use for stewing are Beurre Bosc Pears, Corella Pears, Packham Pears, Anjou Pears. 

Try to avoid Williams or Bartlett Pears that will quickly turn into a compote.

How do I know that the Pears are ready?

There is no right or wrong answer here, it all depends on how firm or soft you want the stewed pears to be!

As a general indication, the pears are ready when you can easily insert a small knife into the fruits without a resistance. The pears should feel soft.

Storing & Freezing

Once cooled down at room temperature, transfer the stewed pears into a container and place in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also use the stewing syrup to store the pears in if you want!

I do not recommend freezing these poached pears as they will fall apart when thawed.

Cooked pears in a white bowl with beige napkin.

More Pear Desserts

  • Apple & Pear Crumble
  • Pear Almond Cake
  • Spiced Pears Muffins
  • 25 delicious Pear Desserts
  • Fresh Pear Pie
  • Pear Crumble Cake

Made this recipe? Leave a comment & rating below to let us know what you think. And to make sure you don't miss any new recipe, don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

Recipe

Stewed Pears in a white bowl with cinnamon, star anise and orange peels.
Print

Easy Stewed Pears

These easy Stewed Pears are a healthy and versatile dessert to make with pears in Winter. Cooked with Lemon, Oranges, Spices and No Processed Sugar, these fragrant poached pears become super soft and are packed with flavours!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 172kcal
Author A Baking Journey

Ingredients

  • 1 Orange - Juice + Peels about 120 ml (1/2 cup) of juice
  • 1 Lemon - Juice + Peels about 20 ml (1 tablesp.) of juice
  • 600 ml (2 1/2 cups) Water see note below
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Star Anise Pods
  • 4 Pears

Instructions

  • Roughly peel the Orange and Lemon and place in a medium size saucepan (see note 1). Juice the Orange and Lemon and add to the saucepan.
  • Add the Water, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon Sticks and Star Anise Pods. Stir to combine and turn on low heat, occasionally stirring.
  • While the liquid is heating up, peel the Pears, cut in quarters (or halves) and remove the core. Add to the stewing liquid.
  • Leave to simmer on a low to medium low heat for 15 to 25 minutes (see note 2) or until soft. Remove the Pear slices from the stewing liquid and leave to cool down at room temperature. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days once cool (see note 3).

Notes

Yield: this recipe serves 4 (or 8 small portions) but can easily be doubled or tripled if needed.
Ingredient Notes:
  • Pears: I recommend using relatively unripe pears to insure the fruits will hold their shape after stewing. If you use a fruit that is too ripe, it will start to turn into a compote.
  • Water: you might need more or less water, depending on the size of your saucepan. Make sure that the pears are fully covered by the liquid, adding more water if required.
  • Spices: I used Cinnamon and Star Anise but you can basically use/add/substitute any spice you'd like!
  • Maple Syrup: if your pears aren't too ripe or naturally sweet, you might want to increase the maple syrup quantity for a sweeter dessert.
Instruction Notes:
  1. Try to use only the orange/lemon peel without the pith (white part) that contains most of the bitterness of the fruit. 
  2. The time it will take for the pears to be ready will depend on the ripeness of the fruits and how soft you want them. Use a small knife to check the pears - if it feels soft, the pears are ready.
  3. The stewing liquid can be used to store the pears in once in the fridge if you want. Otherwise, discard the liquid, peels and spices or leave to reduce on the stove to create a syrup.

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

The post Easy Stewed Pears appeared first on A Baking Journey.

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Mexican Meatballs

Everybody else is making Spag Bol with their weekly beef mince purchase yet again. But you? You’re making plump Mexican Meatballs, smothered in a chipotle tomato sauce. Serve over rice with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream. How smug do you feel? {Answer: VERY!} Mexican Meatballs I probably shouldn’t admit this, being that I... Get the Recipe The post Mexican Meatballs appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Mexican Meatballs

Everybody else is making Spag Bol with their weekly beef mince purchase yet again. But you? You’re making plump Mexican Meatballs, smothered in a chipotle tomato sauce. Serve over rice with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream.

How smug do you feel? {Answer: VERY!}

Overhead photo of Mexican Meatballs in a black skillet, ready to be served

Mexican Meatballs

I probably shouldn’t admit this, being that I run a recipe website and I’m expected to have a positive attitude to all things food. But I don’t really have the patience for meatball rolling. I’ve previously declared that someone needs to invent a meatball rolling device. I picture something tube-like into which meat is stuffed, then meatballs come plonking out the other side.

Not the best visual!! ???? But imagine how fast it could be to make 100 meatballs using such a contraption!!!

Anyway, in the absence of such a device, the point of sharing this is so you know that any meatball recipe you see on this website is one that I deem worthy of rolling! Today – Mexican Meatballs.

Ingredients in Mexican Meatballs

Here’s what goes into these Mexican Meatballs. There’s a few “secret ingredients”!

Ingredients in Mexican Meatballs

The “secret ingredients” in these meatballs are:

  1. Corn chips that are used in place of the usual breadcrumbs! They add extra flavour into the meatballs, that distinct corn flavour, as well as salt. Substitute with breadcrumbs;

  2. Beef AND pork mince (ground meat) – For the best flavour and lovely soft meatballs. Feel free to just use all beef. Super tasty, just that they are not quite as soft. And if you use all pork, the meatballs will taste, well, porkier; and

  3. Chipotle powder – Ground dried jalapeño chillies have a bit of a spicy kick to them as well as being beautifully smokey. Irritatingly not yet widely available in Australia though you can find it in Harris Farms (Sydney) and anywhere that stocks a good variety of spices. Substitute with more smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper or pure chilli.

    Also used in: Prawn/Shrimp Tacos, Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower (this is so good!), Cowboy Bean Salad, Fish Tacos, Mexican Shredded Beef, Chicken Tacos, Cowboy Rice Salad.


Ingredients for sauce for Mexican Meatballs

And here’s what you need for the sauce:

Ingredients in Mexican Meatballs Sauce

Chipotles in Adobo – Now available in the Mexican food section of large grocery stores in Australia (Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farms), this is the key flavouring element for the sauce. We don’t use loads – there’s enough flavour in the meatballs themselves, so we only add a subtle amount in the sauce.

Chipotles are dried and smoked jalapeno peppers. In tinned formed, they usually come in a tangy and spicy red sauce called adobo, hence the name Chipotles in Adobo. You get smoky flavour and heat from the chipotle along with a good kick of spices, garlic and other flavourings from the adobo. 

In this recipe, we are using both the chipotle chilli as well as a bit of the sauce.

Freeze leftover chipotles: Use a small ziplock bag, arranging chillies in one layer so it’s easy to break a bit off to use as needed. Use for Beef Barbacoa, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Mexican Corn.

Baked Mexican Meatballs

How to make Mexican Meatballs

To make life easy and keep your meatballs nice and round, I like to par-bake them in the oven then finish them off in the sauce. Great flavour exchange – tasty juices from the meatballs leeches into the sauce, and the sauce keeps the meatballs nice and juicy!

How to make Mexican Meatballs
  1. Blitz corn chips until they become fine crumbs. Obviously skip this if you’re using breadcrumbs instead!

  2. Mix with all the other meatball ingredients. Use your hands for speed and ease, else use a wooden spoon;

  3. Portion the mixture using an ice cream scoop. The perfect meatball scooping device for even portioning and making them semi-round! I use my 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop and filling it about 3/4 full. This makes 20 meatballs;

  4. Roll into meatballs then place onto a rack set over a tray. Why a rack? Keeps the balls round and allows hot air to circulate under the meatballs so they brown nicely underneath too. Without a rack, the underside doesn’t go brown;

  5. Spray generously with oil then bake for just 10 minutes to get some colour on the outside. They will still be raw inside which is what we want because we will finish cooking them in the sauce;

  6. Make sauce while the meatballs are in the oven. We only simmer for 5 minutes to start with;

  7. Simmer meatballs in sauce: Then once the meatballs come out of the oven, transfer them into the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, rolling them occasionally, to finish cooking the meatballs and to thicken the sauce; and

  8. Sprinkle with fresh coriander/cilantro to finish them off just before serving!

Skillet with simmering Mexican Meatballs

What to serve with Mexican Meatballs

These meatballs are delicious served plain, straight out off the stove, served over a bowl of rice or with some warmed tortillas for stuffing/slopping (that’s a technical term!????). However, as with all things Mexican, toppings are a bonus. Here are some options.

Topping options

  • Sour cream (or yogurt)

  • Shredded cheese

  • Avocado in any form – diced, sliced, smushed, or if you’re going for gold, Guacamole

  • Your favourite hot sauce

  • Jalapeno slices

  • Coriander/cilantro leaves

Rice options

Note: The Mexican Green Rice is buried in a Mexican Beef Ribs recipe. I will pull it out and add a video one of these days!

Enjoy! – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Overhead photo of Mexican Meatballs served with guacamole and sour cream over rice
Print

Mexican Meatballs

Recipe video above. The best Mexican Meatballs are spiced with Mexcian flavours and made with:
1. crushed corn chips instead of breadcrumbs (more flavour!); and
2. a combination of beef AND pork (softer and tastier);
3. are browned in the oven then simmered in the chipotle tomato sauce for a winning flavour exchange: meatball juices leech into the sauce, and the meatballs absorb the sauce flavour. Win win!
Spiciness: Chipotle powder and fresh jalapeno in meatballs gives it a warm buzz but definitely not spicy. Same for chipotle chilli in sauce. Feel free to reduce both and add a pinch of paprika in its place.
Course Mains
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword beef mince recipe, Ground beef recipe, meatballs recipe, mexican meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 – 5 people
Calories 401cal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 250g / 8oz beef mince (ground beef)
  • 250g / 8oz pork mince (ground pork), or more beef (Note 1)
  • 1/2 red onion , grated using a standard box grater
  • 50g / 1.75 oz plain corn chips , sub breadcrumbs + 1/4 tsp salt (Note 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp coriander/cilantro , finely chopped (sub chives or parsley)
  • 3 tbsp parsley , finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh jalapeño , seeds removed and finely minced (reduce/omit for not spicy)
  • Oil spray (preferably olive oil)

Meatball Mexcian Spices:

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder , sub more smoked paprika, reduce for less spicy (Note 3)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (sub 1/2 fresh garlic clove, finely grated)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika , hot for spicy or sweet for not (or sub more Chipotle powder)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Chipotle Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1 chipotle from a can of Chipotle in Adobo , finely chopped (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle in Adobo (Note 4)
  • 800g / 24 oz crushed tomato
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp coriander/cilantro , roughly chopped

Toppings & garnishes (pick & choose):

  • Coriander/cilantro leaves , whole
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole (or just diced, sliced or mashed plain avocado)
  • Rice, for serving (Note

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 220°C/390°F (200°C fan). Place a rack over a tray. Spray rack with oil.
  • Blitz corn chips: Place corn chips in a Nutribullet or food processor. Blitz until they become fine crumbs. (Else put in a ziplock bag and bash!)
  • Meatball mixture: Place Meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
  • Roll meatballs: Roll into 3 – 3.5cm / 1.2 – 1.4" balls. Place on rack. Should make around 20 – 24 meatballs.
  • Bake 10 minutes: Spray meatballs generously with oil. Bake 10 minutes until browned (they will still be raw inside, we finish cooking them in the sauce).

Sauce:

  • While the meatballs are in the oven, start the sauce.
  • Sauté garlic & chipotle: Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped Adobo Chile and sauté for 20 seconds.
  • Simmer 5 minutes: Add tomato, Adobo sauce and sugar. Bring to simmer, then turn heat down to low and cook, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes.

Finish Meatballs:

  • Cook meatballs in sauce: Remove meatballs from oven and transfer into sauce. Continue to cook the sauce for another 10 minutes, rolling meatballs every now and then, until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked.
  • Fresh coriander: Sprinkle with chopped coriander/cilantro.
  • Serving: Serve over rice or stuff into tortillas with toppings of choice!

Notes

1. Beef/pork mixture yields softer, juicier meatballs. You can just use all beef, but the meatballs will be a bit firmer.
2. Corn chips – Crushed cornchips instead of the usual breadcrumbs really adds something special to these meatballs! You can definitely taste the hint of corn flavour and the salt adds seasoning.
Sub: panko breadcrumbs (1 cup) or ordinary plain bread crumbs (3/4 cup – finer than panko so you need less for equivalent weight) PLUS 1/4 tsp salt (because corn chips have salt in them).
3. Chipotle powder is ground dried jalapeños and it’s an ingredient used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. Find it at Harris Farms (Syd), delis, spice stores, bulk-bin health food stores. Everywhere, it seems, other than Australian major grocery stores!
Also used in: Prawn/Shrimp Tacos, Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower (this is so good!), Cowboy Bean Salad, Fish Tacos, Mexican Shredded Beef, Chicken Tacos, Cowboy Rice Salad.
4. Chipotles in adobo – These are chipotles (dried, smoked jalapneos) in a flavoured, tangy red sauce that is quite spicy. Great Mexican shortcut ingredient that adds a ton of flavour! Usually found in cans (sometimes jars). Widely available in the US, and nowadays in Australia too. Check the Mexican section of large grocery stores like Coles & Woolies.
Substitute in place of the chipotles in adobo: 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder + 1/2 tsp SMOKED paprika powder + 1 tbsp sriracha (YES, really, it’s pretty close to Adobo Sauce!).
Freeze leftover chipotles: Use a small ziplock bag, arranging chillies in one layer so it’s easy to break a bit off to use as needed. Use for Beef Barbacoa, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Mexican Corn.
5. Rice options!
  • Plain white rice
  • Green Mexican Rice (coriander/cilantro rice)
  • Mexican Red Rice
6. Leftovers – will keep in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days in the fridge, or freeze in sauce for up to 3 months.
7. Nutrition per serving, meatballs and sauce only, assuming 5 servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 401cal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 808mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 866IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 5mg

Life of Dozer

That time I burnt my hand grabbing the handle of a searing hot cast iron skillet. It was stinging so badly I had to keep it submerged in ice cold water, while I continued working with my other hand!

No sympathy from Dozer. All he cared about was the one little treat left on the table!

The post Mexican Meatballs appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

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