The question I'm most asked by friends now (in a concerned manner) when we're out for a dinner is: do I miss not drinking in my pregnancy? Have I been having anything alcoholic to drink at all? The truth is, I've never been a big drinker and my desire for beer or wine has dropped down to almost nothing these days. So my taste for a tipple has nearly evaporated.
Except for whiskey. Whiskey was one of the first drinks I'd ever tasted; my father would have a tumbler each night and my kind offer to fetch the drink from the kitchen for him was so I could steal a few sips from the top. I confessed this to my mother recently and she refused to accept that a 10 year old would enjoy the taste. Oh but I had, and oh but I do.
To work a bit of whiskey into my diet but in a safe, alcohol-burned-off format, I poached pears in a pot of whiskey along with cinnamon and honey to round off the flavor. The color of the pear was less glorious and deeply jeweled than if I'd poached them in red wine, but it was the taste that I was after. The pears took on a gentle flavor of the poaching liquid, and the liquid itself created a wonderful syrup that when coupled with cream tasted so very good (yet so bad). Before reducing the syrup down, Mr A&N poured a glass of the liquid for me, mixed with a touch of cream, for my own style of white russian. I drank and I supped. The baby seemed content; perhaps my child was developing his own whiskey-palate.
Pears Poached in Whiskey
- 6 pears, peeled
- About 6 C of water
- 150ml whiskey
- 1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
- 3-4 Tbs honey
- 2 extra Tbs honey or sugar
- Cream to pour over the top
- If you are able to stand the pears up in the pot they'll be cooking in, first lop off a bit of their bottom so they can stand up. If the pears need laying down in order to fit, then the bottoms don't need lopping.
- Combine the water, whiskey, cinnamon and honey in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the pears and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the pears are soft enough for a fork to go into them easily.
- Remove the pears and set aside to cool slightly.
- If using the large amount of liquid, spoon out about 3 ladle-fulls of the liquid into a smaller pot, add another 2 Tbs of honey/sugar and set to a vigorous boil. Keep boiling until the liquid is reduced and it turns syrup-y (15-20 minutes).
- Serve with the syrup and a touch of cream poured over the pears.