THOSE who have read this column for a while will know my nickname is baby apples.
I got this nickname when I was at university because I use to work at a farmer's market selling apples.
I would grab the tiny ones too small to sell and keep them in pockets so I could hand them out as gifts to my friends.
Anyway, in honour of this my new housemate - who is actually my old housemate on account of us having lived together before - couldn't find me any baby apples as a house warming gift, but she did manage to find me some baby pears.
Unlike baby apples which are generally not edible because they are too tart, the baby pears were tasty and perfect for this dish.
But if you can't find baby pears, use one normal sized pear for every three baby pears and increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
Make sure the pears are covered in the liquid at all times so if your bigger pears are popping out the top, add more water to the saucepan - but also add more sugar.
If you want to get the prep work done early, make sure you squeeze some lemon over peeled pears otherwise they will go brown.
Pears will last for ages in the crisper of your fridge, as will cinnamon sticks in your pantry. Combine them with sugar and water and you have your dessert.
You can substitute cinnamon for a vanilla pod split in two or other spices like star anise - or combine them. Honey, lemon and orange can also be used.
Then of course there's wine. Red or white, it makes a great liquid for poaching in.
You can use just about any dessert flavours - which is the great thing about this dish.
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