For this recipe, it is important to choose pears that are quite firm with no bruises and minimal marks. If they are too ripe, they will be too soft once cooked. They should be light green on the outside and just starting to turn yellow.
Makes 4 – 8 servings
Bowl of water, plus 4 cups water
1 lemon (split into two halves), plus the lemon rind
4 semi-ripe pears
2 cups xylitol
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Fill a bowl with cold water and squeeze the fresh juice in from one-half of the lemon. Place the lemon rind from the whole lemon in the water as well. Carefully peel the pears and then place them into the water. This helps to prevent them from turning brown. Place a towel over the top to protect them from the air.
After a minute or so, start taking them out one-by-one, removing the cores from the pears. Gently rub the pears with a clean scrubbing brush to smooth out their surface and make them nicely presentable. Then return them to the water. Next, one-by-one cut each pear in half length-ways and return to the bowl.
You will then need a deep, wide saucepan that is large enough to accommodate all of the pears in a single layer, whilst allowing them to also be fully submerged in syrup.
In the saucepan, place the xylitol, water and vanilla extract. Squeeze the juice from the other 1/2 a lemon into the pan, and then add the lemon too.
The ratio of poaching syrup is usually 1 part xylitol to 2 parts liquid (water). If you need to make more syrup, increase the quantity and add an extra 1/4 tsp of vanilla. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low and bring the temperature of the syrup to between 71C to 82C.
Once the poaching temperature has been reached, carefully place the pears into the poaching syrup. Weigh them down to prevent them popping up with a circular round of parchment paper and then cover with a lid. Make sure the lid lays flat on the surface of the liquid and holds down the pears.
It is important to ensure you keep the poaching temperature in the proper range. Poach the pears until tender for about 5 to 15 minutes. To test the pears, insert a knife into the thickest part. It should slide out easily when done.
Use a large slotted spoon to remove them from the liquid and allow them to cool. Reserve the poaching liquid to cover them once cooled and store them in the refrigerator. They can be stored for up to 5 days.
Andy’s Sugar Safe® Tips
Pears contain substantial amounts of copper, iron, potassium, magnesium. They’re also a good source of B vitamins such as folates, which are good for colitis, gallbladder issues and gout. Remember to consume pears in moderation though because they do contain fructose, which can be harmful to health in excessive amounts. A medium pear weighs about 170g and per 100g contains 10g sugar (fructose).