The Pear: often a forgotten jewel in the fruit realm. Not only are they great for still life art – we all remember painting pears on a table in art class – these tasty fruits are rich in important antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber. Chef Gerard decided to celebrate the pear this week with a delightful sous vide dessert recipe, enhancing its natural sweet flavor and rich color.
Domestic pear season starts in late summer however European pears (winter pears) such as Anjou and Bosc can be found at produce stands all year round. Be sure to pick pears that are still firm and without any unappealing bruises. For best flavor, allow pears to ripen in a warm, sunny area for several days or until the neck of the pear yields to pressure.
Sous Vide Pears with Caramel Sauce
3 ripe medium pears (chef used Anjou pears)
¼ teaspoons saffron threads
½ vanilla bean
1 cup white wine
1 cup fine sugar
⅓ cup hot water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (chef’s favorite sea salt)
1. Set the circulator on 83 °C (182 °F).
2. Peel, core, and cut each pear in half.
3. Split pear halves into two sous vide pouches.
4. Combine wine, saffron, and vanilla in a bowl. Mix well.
5. Divide the mixture between the two pouches.
6. Vacuum seal the pouches on medium-high.
7. Cook for 30 minutes 83 °C (182 °F).
8. Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar melts.
9. Next raise the heat and bring to a boil.
10. Cook without stirring until the syrup is a deep amber hue.
11. Add the cream slowly and reduce the heat to low.
12. Whisk until sauce is thick and creamy.
13. Stir in the butter and sea salt, whisking until smooth.
14. Spoon the hot or warm caramel sauce over the finished pears. Bon Apetit!