Vanilla – Poached Pears on Caramelized Puff Pastry with Sauce Anglaise

Vanilla Poached PearsCourtesy of Simon Boswell, Executive Chef at the Roseburg Country Club

serves around 8

8 pears (with stems if possible)
2+ cups sugar (plus sev
4+ cups water
2 vanilla beans

Peel the pears, so that at least half of the peel is in one long strip. Core the pears from the bottom to remove inner stem and seeds, but leave the stem on the top of the pear.

Heat a 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup water in a pan to create a simple syrup. Place the peels in pan and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes. Remove the peels, and place on a cookie sheet in a 420 degree oven until peels begin to turn brown. Remove and wrap the hot peels around a whisk and let them cool to form stiff spirals. Set aside.

Heat the remaining sugar and water in a pan to create a simple syrup. Cut vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add to syrup. Bring to a simmer, and add pears. You should have enough syrup to cover the pears in the pan. Cook until a knife slides into the pears with only a slight resistance. Remove the pears from the syrup and let cool. If the knife slides in with no resistance, then remove the pears immediately, and let cool in the refrigerator. When the pears are cool, slice each of the pears halfway through, at an angle, from just below the stem, to almost to the bottom. Do this four times around the pear. Press down lightly on the pear to make it form a spiral.

Place a dolop of the custard sauce in the center of a plate, and place a puff pastry on top. Place a pear on the pastry, and pour some of the sauce ove the pear. Place a peel spiral over the top for decoration.

Puff Pastry
1 package of puff pastry sheets
powdered sugar

Take a sheet of the puff pastry, and cut in the 2″-3″ squares. Take a square, lightly brush the top with water, and place another square on top. Score the top of the pastry square in a criss-cross pattern. Place squares in refrigerator and allow them to stiffen up. Remove, dust with powdered sugar, and back in 425 degree oven on a flat cookie sheet until lightly brown.

Custard Sauce
1 pint of cream
6 egg yolks
4 oz of sugar
1 vanilla bean

Mix yolks and a small amount of the cream until blended in a sauce pan. Add remaining cream, and sugar. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrap the seeds out, and add the seeds to cream mixture. Cook the mixture over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. If the custard on the sides of the pot thickens too much (starts to look like scrambled eggs), then place the custard in a food processor or blender and blend for a second or two.