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Barnstaple Fair Pears

  Water 300 Milliliter (3 Dl.)
  Port 150 Milliliter (1 1/2 Deciliter)
  Granulated sugar 350 Gram
  Lemon 1 Small
  Cloves 2
  Cinnamon stick 1 Inch
  Cooking pears 1 Kilogram (Hard)

If you are fortunate enough to come by some really hard cooking pears, do as our grandmothers did and bake them long and very slowly in port-flavoured syrup.
The resulting mahogany coloured pears were a speciality of Barnstaple fair.
Put water, port, sugar, thinly pared lemon rind, lemon juice and spices into a pan and heat gently until dissolved.
Meanwhile peel, halve and core pears and drop them into the hot syrup.
Bring to the boil, transfer to a deep casserole, cover tightly and cook in a slow oven until tender.
The time will vary from 4 to 6 hours, depending on the pears, but cooking can be spread over several days if more convenient.
Serve cold, with clotted cream.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
30 Minutes
Cook Time: 
240 Minutes
Ready In: 
270 Minutes

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