Thursday, August 27, 2009

lemon and thyme pear compote

i love the combination of fruit and herbs. a little sweet with a little savory equals a lot of delicious! in this case they came together in the form of pears and thyme with a bit of lemon juice thrown in for some tartness. the recipe comes from bon appetit and is paired with a buttermilk cake, which is what i did, but i think that the compote plopped over a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be an equally delicious and oh-so-easy dessert. the recipe below is to top an 8-inch cake. i have a 9-inch cake pan and felt that the pear chunks were a little sparse so if you're making a 9-inch cake i would suggest throwing in a little bit more pear. also, bon appetit provides a buttermilk cake recipe but i just went with the raspberry buttermilk cake (minus the raspberries) because, well, i love it and it's easy.

lemon and thyme pear compote
(from bon appetit, september 2009)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 pound firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)

combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon lemon peel, and 3/4 teaspoon thyme in medium saucepan. stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. remove saucepan from heat; cover. let steep 10 minutes. pour syrup through fine strainer set over bowl. return syrup to saucepan. add 3/4 teaspoon lemon peel and 3/4 teaspoon thyme and bring to simmer. add pear cubes and simmer over medium heat until pears are tender but still hold shape, about 10 minutes. using slotted spoon, transfer pear to rimmed baking sheet (or a plate). boil syrup in saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes (note: mine took a bit longer to reduce). transfer reduced syrup to blender. add 1/3 cup pear pieces; puree until smooth. transfer pear puree to medium bowl. add remaining pear pieces to puree. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

to make an upside down cake, grease and flour your cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. bake until golden and almost cooked all the way through. remove from oven and let cool in pan about 15 minutes. once cool, invert onto a flat plate and remove parchment. re-grease the same pan and line bottom with fresh parchment. spread compote over the bottom and carefully place the cake back in the pan. cook until cake is golden and a tester comes out clean. let cool in pan for about 5 minutes and invert onto plate.


No comments: