I think pears are annoying. Lovely, but annoying. They sit around in the fruit bowl looking all delicious and they’re never ripe. Then, when one is ready to eat the rest immediately go ripe too and then you have to eat them all at once. Well I’m not standing for it any longer, I decided that I would use the pears while they are under ripe so I can enjoy them while waiting for the others to ripen. The word ripe has lost all meaning. These mini toffee pear pies are made from surprisingly few ingredients (if you buy readymade pastry) and are just perfect for celebrating the pear in all its I’m-never-quite-ready-ok-now-I’m-too-ready glory.
Parkin is a traditional cake eaten on Bonfire Night so I made some a few days before the picnic as I had heard it is a cake better left before eating. This would be the perfect accompaniment to the warm gooey pears.
You will need:2 firm pears 1 bottle Elderberry wine 100g sugar
Start by putting the wine and sugar into a pan and bring it to a simmer. While you wait for the wine to warm peel the pears and cut the bottom off so that they will stand up when cooked. When the wine is simmering add the pears and leave for 20-30 minutes or until soft when tested with a skewer.
Remove the pears when they’re soft and then turn the heat up on the wine. Boil the wine until it has reduced to a thin syrup. Depending on the ferocity of your flame and how much evaporated while the pears were cooking this can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Bear with it though and don’t give in to impatience; pears in wine soup would I’m sure be delicious but it’s not quite what you’re after. Serve the pears with their syrup.