My MasterChef Canada dish. My wife said I should apply for MasterChef Canada so I did. I made it past the initial application, phone interview and then was asked to show up for the live tasting audition. That’s where my journey ended. My guess is that I didn’t have enough drama for reality TV, which is true, I’m not full of drama. My focus is not on being remembered for how interesting I am, but rather for how well I cook. This dish is an enhancement on my previous poached pear. This version truly is an example of perfect food and drink pairings which is what this blog is all about. The plating wasn’t as perfect as I’d hoped because after transporting the ingredients in a cooler, waiting forever and then only having 5 minutes to plate the wild current compote was more like jello, not spreading so easily. Plus it had started to break down, thus the liquid. My focus was more the pairing of flavours than it was the plating so I was happy regardless. A good experience overall.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup dry Moscato wine
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- zest & juice of one lemon
- 4 Bosc pears
- 1 to 2 pieces star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
Black Current Compote
- 2 cups black currants, stemmed
- 2⁄3 cup water
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. real maple syrup
- 9 tbsp. sweet Marsala wine
- 3 tbsp. pear poaching liquid
- zest of on orange
- 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. salted butter, melted
- Good quality Roquefort or Stilton cheese
- Walnut oil
Poaching the pears
- Bring the water and wine to a boil adding the sugar until it dissolves.
- Turn down to a simmer adding the zest and juice of lemon, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger and vanilla.
- Scoop out the small blossom end of each pear and peal the skin leaving the stem.
- Place the pears into the poaching liquid, adding more water if needed to cover the pears.
- Cook the pears for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on their ripeness until tender and translucent, but not soft. Test with a knife at the thickest part of the pear to check for doneness.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
- Continue to simmer the poaching liquid until reduced to 3/4 it’s volume.
- Remove from the heat and cool the poaching liquid.
- The poaching liquid, once cooled, can be poured over the cooled pears and stored in the refrigerator.
Black Current Compote
- Put stemmed black currants and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until berries begin to break apart, about 10 minutes.
- Add sugar, maple syrup and Marsala wine to compote while still hot, stirring until sugar dissolves. Alcohol from the wine will burn off leaving the marsala flavouring.
- Transfer compote to a glass or ceramic jar and set aside to cool (it will thicken as it cools).
- Serve it warm or chilled with the poached pears.
- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
- In a bowl combine poaching liquid, zest, sugar and flour. Mix well. Fold in melted butter.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread about 1/2 tsp. onto some parchment paper laid on a cooking sheet making a 2″ circle. Repeat until you have enough for your pears.
- Bake 4 – 6 minutes, or until golden brown and lacy looking.
- Cool then store in airtight container.
- Spoon some of the black current compote onto your plate brushing it across the plate with the back of the spoon.
- Remove on of the poached pears from the poaching liquid being sure to let the excess liquid drain. PLace the pear in the middle of the compote.
- Slice into the pear with one of the pear lace, leaving it in place.
- Place an ounce of the cheese on the far side of the pear on top of the compote.
- Place two drops of walnut oil onto the compote.
- Serve with a glass of Sauternes.