Not all fruits can be enjoyed both fresh and cooked. Pears are one of the few fruits that can be eaten either way. Versatile, this crunchy firm fleshed and juicy produce mixes well with different flavors ranging from sweet to savory. Pears are a welcome addition to many dishes such as rich stews and delectable desserts.
These can be prepared in a number of ways in the kitchen including baking, poaching and even grilling. However, like many other fruits and vegetables that are cooked, pears are prone to losing some of their best qualities when not handled properly. Cooking methods introduce heat and may easily leave the fruit soft. Additionally, the use of liquids and other ingredients may add extra moisture causing it lose its crunchy texture. Finding the balance for a properly cooked pear may mean keeping a close watch on what you cook.
Sous vide eliminates many of these problems. Low temperatures and slow cooking both provide the right amount of heat in order to cook the fruit without causing it to become too soft. Sous vide pears retain a certain amount of its crunchiness giving it a unique texture. At the same time it holds shape better. Of course, other than being cooked perfectly, sous vide also allows pears to retain more nutrients and flavor. There’s also no forgetting that this method can cut down on the effort of keeping a close eye on your dish.
Most fruits are held at 183°F or 83.8°F, but sous vide pears may be held at 185°F or 85°F. Cooking time will last about 1 to 1 ½ hour depending on the size and amount of pears being cooked. The fruits may be cooked as is if it is being used as an addition or ingredient in other dishes. If it is being prepped for dessert or something similar, needed ingredients may be added to help infuse flavors while cooking.
Pears are one of my least loved fruits when eaten out of hand, but when they're poached in butter, sugar, vanilla, and spice, well, that's another story. Normally, you immerse the pears in a flavorful liquid, such as wine or sugar syrup, and cook them on the stove top. Then, after they're poached, the cooking liquid needs to be reduced to concentrate its flavors.
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