A small group of friends gathers now and then, on a rotation of residence basis, to toast a toast and marvel at each others themed cooking. You might remember a colourful affair a while back. We’ve had a lemon theme and a Childhood Memories evening, where we reminisced about such delights as Three Bean Salad, Tuna Casserole, Mac ‘n Cheese and Pineapple Upside-down Cake. The latest exploration was for Roman Food, and my, did we eat like Caesars, one and all. With stuffed grape leaves, and large, fragrantly cooked dishes of lentils and beans and cauliflower we stuffed ourselves just short of, well, you know…
A little space was left, thankfully, for dessert. Pear Patina, voila. Simply put, a sublime, slightly fragrant and utterly pear-y baked custard served with a white wine honey sauce. Perhaps this is what the Hun was looking for on his little trip through Rome? Thank goodness something is helping me get out of my cooking funk. The fresh, sweet taste of pears in this velvety concoction, after such a beautiful and flavoursome meal, has refreshed my cooking soul a bit.
Roman Pear Patina
2 large, ripe Bosc pears
500ml white wine
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp white pepper
pinch black pepper
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp best Olive oil
For the honey sauce:
2 big, oozing Tbsp honey
¼ cup white wine
– poach the pears, whole, in the white wine in a heavy based saucepan for 20 – 25 mins, or until very tender, turning the pears every few minutes.
– preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease and sugar a 500ml Pudding basin (or souffle dish/caserole)
– allow the pears to cool slightly before pealing and coring them. Mash/process the pears until smooth.
– beat the eggs and add to the pear pulp along with the cream, milk, cardamom, peppers, honey and olive oil.
– Pour mixed batter into pudding basin and bake for about 25 minutes until golden on top, but still jiggly in the middle.
– To make the sauce, warm the honey until it’s quite liquid, add the wine and mix.
– best served slightly warm.