Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baked Pear Pancake with Gingered Maple Syrup

I have a love/hate thing going with pears. At their very best, they are juicy, sandy and honey sweet; still the littlest bit firm and yet ever-so-slightly soft at the same time. They are unlike any other fruit. However, identifying their peak perfect point for consumption is something that eludes me. I always seem to get to them too early when they're rock hard; or too late when they've gone soft. Like with a mushy apple, I feel utterly disappointed after biting into one of those. You don't want to go on eating it, but you don't want to waste it either, so you soldier on and are that much more suspicious of the next one you try. Once bitten, twice shy.

This is the perfect dish to make if you're pear-anoid like me. Or should that be pear-annoyed? (Bad pun either way, I know. I'm so sorry.) The pears are cut up into pieces and cooked in a big pancake. There's no fussing over whether they're "perfect" or not. They are in the supporting cast, not a starring role. True, they have more lines than, say, the flour, milk or butter; but there's no star on their dressing room door. No entourage. No fawning fans. If anything is the star in this show, I'm thinking it's got to be the Gingered Maple Syrup that I haven't tried yet. We never seem to have real maple syrup on hand when I want to make this recipe. And unless prices come down, I won't be trying it anytime soon either. Maple syrup used to be a staple, a given, a no-brainer. Now, it's a total luxury item, right up there with caviar and cashmere socks. Maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list. Then, if Santa comes through, we could make this dish for brunch the day after Christmas. Now that would be perfect. If only pears were in season then...

  • Baked Pear Pancake with Gingered Maple Syrup, page 125 of Gourmet's Quick Kitchen, 1996

Notes: As I was about to slice open the lemon before juicing it, I thought "why waste the zest?", so I zested it into the flour mixture first. Made a lovely addition. Subtle, but lovely.
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