FFWD – Spice-Poached Apples or Pears

Poached apple, with Pralines and Cream Ice Cream and a garnish of cinnamon stick.

I spent a few days out at my parents’ place, picking blueberries and blackberries and contemplating the sheep. Sheep are a perfect vehicle for contemplation, since they don’t have a whole lot going on. They drift from one field to another, in search of something succulent. These sheep only run when they see someone approach with kitchen scraps or garden trimmings. They know a good thing when they see it. The llama rarely joins in, preferring to search out potential breaches in the fence, so that he can get into the vegetable garden or the orchard. He knows a better thing when he sees it.

People aren’t that different, sometimes. We cast about for things to satisfy us, occasionally hitting on a course of action that will bring bigger rewards. A steady stream of small pleasures can help reduce the casting about and help keep us focused on the the bigger picture. It’s one of the things that I like about French Fridays – a regular dose of learning, writing, and (above all) good eating. It’s a habit that’s grounding and creative at the same time.

Steeping the poaching liquid.

This week’s recipe isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s very satisfying. Apples or pears (or whatever fruit you’d like, really) are poached in a honeyed bath of spices, flecked with vanilla seeds. You could even add a splash of something stronger, if you’d like. It reminds me of a rosewater sauce I like to serve with rice pudding. The leftover poaching liquid in this recipe could easily be reduced in the same way.

The leftovers this time won’t last long enough to do that – there’s too much ripe fruit around. In fact, my parents’ pear trees are overladen with fruit. I might just have to go and pick some very soon.

Time for dessert!

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Spice-Poached Apples or Pears

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23 thoughts on “FFWD – Spice-Poached Apples or Pears

  1. I found this recipe very comforting also. And your story about the sheep made me remember the times I used to stare at the cows in my family´s farm when I was a kid; sheep are much more interesting. This recipe would be wonderful with the addition of some rosewater I think! Have a great weekend!

  2. Yes, there was something simply satisfying about this dish. And a splash of brandy added to it was good for the soul and taste buds 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

  3. What an intuitive Post. I have never thought of FFWD as “grounding” but it definitely is. Week after week. Always. The off-shoots of the grounding responsibility – creativity, imagination, writing, thinking, organizing, visualizing – are all bonuses. Loved this, compote, cooked fruit, whatever it is, just loved it. Throwing in some wine next time.

  4. I can’t say that FFWD grounds me because I get nervous about making something new and usually working with different ingredients than I am used to… I would say it doesn’t ground me as much as it grows me. Thanks for having me think about what I am doing… I can be such a sheep at times.

  5. Simple is best;-)
    I can relate to sheep, I’m often drifting around looking for something succulent to eat and that is what attracts me to Dorie Greenspan’s recipes-most often they provide excellent meals!
    I love poached pears, they are perfect with a small spicy shortbread cookie, methinks;-)

  6. Wow, Teresa – I can’t imagine being able to pick pears from a tree! We have so much citrus around here, but not many soft fruits. I’m glad you enjoyed this – I think it would have definitely been better with pears.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  7. Well, I suppose I could have saved the leftover liquid and poached some more but I discovered that I could use it to flavor vodka martinis and before I knew it, it was all gone. I’m going to make these again anyway so I’ll poach away next time because I thought these were really good.

  8. If I had a pear tree, I’d be poaching huge vats of fruit and using it in everything. Can’t say I’ve ever sat and watched sheep. I should remedy that. 🙂

  9. Teresa, you have an amazing knack for thoughtful reflection in the most simple acts of cooking, baking, gardening and community. Thanks for sharing with us!

  10. Teresa – Nice post – love your observations about the sheep and llama. I agree that this recipe is so simple and yet is a springboard for so many other ideas or is just fine exactly as written. I also agree about participating in this group. I can’t do it all the time but I ALWAYS am glad I did and always learn something each time.

  11. My pug sounds like she would mix in well with the sheep….she only moves for table scraps as well. Though I pick up speed for a yummy reward as well 🙂 Nana and i each enjoyed the results of our pears – this was a lovely, simple recipe and spot on the perfect time of year for it !

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