Monday, November 2, 2015

maple poached pears.

One of my favorite Jersey City restaurants is closing and I am heart broken about it.  When Thirty Acres arrived in Jersey City (just over 3 years ago), I felt as if Jersey City had finally made it and that made me really happy. People, especially New Yorkers are scared of Jersey City. They are scared of living in a place that isn't New York.  They are scared of having to take another subway to get to the city.  When I first moved there, I was one of those people.  I thought I was better then Jersey City.  I thought living there was temporary.  And now, 8 1/2 years later, I kind of can't imagine living anywhere else.  I like the scruffiness. I like my farmers markets and my bread place and our art murals.  Sure I wish I had a fancy cheese shop but it's probably better for my wallet and stomach that I don't.

A couple of weekends ago, Tyler and I took advantage of a Thirty Acres gift certificate we had been saving and treated ourselves to the tasting menu.  As expected, the meal was phenomenal. Seasonal, exciting, and beautiful.  (I may have bought urfa chiles this week to try and recreate the sweet potato dish we had.)   But one dish stole the show and I can't stop thinking about it.   Maple poached pears with toasted hazelnuts and  a clotted-esq cream. It was a dish that I would probably never order on my own (I have the tendency to gravitate towards chocolate...) but it was dreamy. Incredibly satisfying and absurdly original (at least to me).  It was a dessert that could double as a breakfast or an afternoon snack.  And it managed to taste exactly like fall.

Thirty Acres, I'm going to miss you, but at least I can drown my sorrows in maple poached pears.

Maple Poached Pears
Recipe inspired by Thirty Acres

These would make for a phenomenal breakfast with some yogurt and granola.  I also think they would be the perfect side to a hazelnut or almond cake.   Really they are worth eating anyway you choose. 

To Note - I tweeted Thirty Acres for their recipe (because they were that unreal) and found out, they use only maple syrup and a splash of sherry vinegar (no wonder I loved them so much )which means I'll be re-making these this weekend and will report back with my updated thoughts and possibly a new recipe!

4 pears, peeled, cored, and halved
1/2 cup maple syrup (the most robust flavored one you can get - Grade A dark or a Grade B)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Optional addition - a cinnamon stick, a vanilla bean halved

In a large saucepan combine the pears, maple syrup, lemon juice, any of the optional flavorings, and just enough water to cover the pears.   Bring the mixture to a boil.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the pears until they are cooked through and easily pierced with a knife about 20 - 25 minutes.

Allow the pears to cool in their liquid. When cool, remove the pears from their poaching liquid and then bring the liquid back to a boil.  Cook the liquid until the mixture has reduced by half.   

Serve the pears anyway you like but make sure you include a drizzle of the poaching liquid with it!

Pears can be stored in their liquid for up to 5 days in the fridge.

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