Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Fruits of Our Harvest – February 17, 2013

It was August 24th of 2012 when I blogged about our visit to the orchard to purchase two huge bags of grade out apples and pears.  We canned pears as jam and aigre deux, but there was so much left over I ran out of ideas.  That led to freezing which is almost always the easiest way to put things up for later.  We peeled, cored and sliced the pears with our apple corer/peeler/slicer.  Then, I boiled the pears about five minutes in water before putting 2 cups each into zip lock bags in the freezer.  This may sound like a small think, but when doing this, it is worth the trouble to put your bags on a plate or cookie sheet in the freezer until they freeze.  Some times I forget and the pears fall down between the shelving rungs and freeze there and I cannot remove the bag without breaking up the whole thing.

Any way, I was happy to remember that we had these pears on a cold February day when pear pie sounded like the perfect dessert when friends came for dinner.  I made the pie in a tall sided baking pan so there were piles of pear.  I also did not have a pie crust so I uncharacteristically made my own.  The pie was fabulous, but made even better because we topped it with vanilla ice cream and salted butterscotch topping our friend Mary shared from her homemade holiday gifts. 

 Pear Honey Pie

4 c. peeled, sliced pears (fresh or defrosted from your freezer)
1/3 c. honey
2 T. cornstarch
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. ground ginger
2 pie pastries
2 T. butter

Toss pears with honey, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest and ginger.  Pour into pie crust and dot with butter.  Cover with second crust and seal.  Cut vents in top crust.  Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

As I said, I did not make the butterscotch sauce, but it was so good, I started looking up recipes and many sites had this same basic recipe:

Salted Butterscotch Topping

4 T. unsalted butter
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
¾ c. heavy whipping cream (not ultra pasteurized)
1 T. Vanilla
1 tsp. salt

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter over medium low.  Just as melted toss in sugar and stir to wet uniformly.  Continue cooking stirring regularly 3-5 minutes until it is no longer grainy and looks almost liquid.  Pour in the cream and whisk until uniform.  Increase heat to medium and cook 10 minutes whisking regularly.  Turn off and let sit a couple minutes before transferring to a bowl and cool.  Add half the salt and vanilla and taste.  Keep adding to taste you like up to full amount. This will last in the refrigerator for up to a month.

One year ago in 2012 – Croutons and bagel crisps

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