Cider Poached Pears w/ Blue cheese, pickled fennel & Macadamia nuts.
Cider Poached Pears
w/ blue cheese, cider pickled fennel & macadamia nuts
I am very fond of blue cheese, yet I hated the stuff when I was a kid, and that was before I had even tasted it. A large part of my desire to become a chef was my awakening to the flavours and culinary possibilities I had shied away from in my early years.
These moreish pears poached in cider and caramel are beautiful even served with just a dollop of mascarpone cheese. - Kyle Street
"Another ripper from Kyle, right up my ‘sweet tooth alley’!" - Al Brown
-1 Kg Pears
-300 gm Sugar
-1/2 tsp Fennel Seed
-1 Star Anise
-1 Bay Leaf
-2 Cups Pear Cider
-1 Cup Apple Juice
-2 Large Fennel Bulb
-1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
-1/2 Cup Chardonnay Vinegar
-2 Tbsp Sugar
-1 Cup Water
-1 tsp Fennel seed
-6 White peppercorn
-6 Juniper Berries
Burnt butter dressing
-100 gm Salted Butter, cut into large cubes
-2 Tbsp Vincotto
-2 Tbsp Macadamia Oil
Step 1. Cider-poached pears
Prepare the pears by peeling, halving, and removing the cores and stalks.
Place the sugar in a large saucepan on medium heat. Cook without stirring until the sugar begins to turn golden. Now stir the sugar to even out the caramel colour. Add in the fennel seeds, star anise and bay leaf and cook caramel until a rich amber colour. Pour in the cider and apple juice, being mindful that it will steam up when the liquid hits the sugar.
Place prepared pears in the liquid. Cover with baking paper and submerge the pears, using a small plate to weight them down. Cook on low simmer for 5 minutes , then remove from the heat and cool in the liquid.
Refrigerate until required.
Step 2. Pickled Fennel
Prepare your fennel by cutting in half, removing the cores and tops, then slice into thin strips. Place in a bowl along with some of the green fennel fronds.
Place the two vinegars, sugar, water, fennel seeds, white peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaf in a small saucepan. Heat until simmering, then pour over sliced fennel. Cover with cling wrap and cool on the bench.
Refrigerate until required. Leave for 24 hours for best results.
Step 3. Burnt Butter Dressing
Place the diced butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
Swirl it around the saucepan until frothy and nutty. Once the butter is a rich brown colour, squeeze in the lemon juice to stop the cooking. Beware of steam.
Pour butter mix through a sieve into a measuring jug, and cool for 5 minutes. Using a wand blender, blitz in the vincotto and macadamia oil until emulsified.
Keep dressing in an airtight container until required.
Step 4. Cooking and Serving
- Cider Poached Pears (drained)
- Cider Pickled Fennel (drained)
-2 handfuls Rocket
-50 gm Blue Cheese
-1/2 Cup Macadamia Nuts (toasted)
- Burnt Butter Dressing
- Flakey Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Heat your grill pan to smoking hot.
Lightly oil and season the pears with salt and pepper. Chargrill for 5 minutes on each side to caramelise and heat through. Remove from the grill and cut each half into 4 pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss together the grilled pear, pickled fennel, rocket, blue cheese and chopped nuts. Shake up your dressing and lightly coat the salad. Season to taste.
Place your grilled pear salad on serving plates and finish off with an extra hit of the dressing.