This paste is a thick spread to serve with cheese.  It pairs (like the pun!) particularly well with blue cheese and for a gift idea divide the mixture into small jars or ramekins to share.

makes about 2 cups of paste

1.1 kg (about 6) beurre bosc pears 

500ml riesling, or water 

400g castor sugar

10 peppercorns 

Peel and cut pear into quarters, then remove core.  Slice each quarter into three pieces lengthwise.  

Place sliced pear into a heavy based saucepan and pour over wine or water, this should just cover the fruit.  Place the saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low-medium.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and easily pierced with a knife.  Drain fruit and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.  Reserve the cooking juice for another use, such as poaching fruits, or cooking porridge.

Using a hand blender or food processor, blend the cooked pear to a puree. Weigh 500g of pear puree and transfer to a clean medium sized saucepan.  Stir in the sugar to dissolve over a low heat.  Add the peppercorns.

Cook for about 2 hours over a low heat.  Regularly stirring to prevent paste catching on base of saucepan.   Use a simmer mat underneath saucepan to help control heat, if you have one.   The paste will thicken as it reduces and is ready when the mixture pulls away from side of saucepan and forms an open trail when spoon is pulled through.

While still hot, carefully transfer paste into hot sterilized jar/s.  Cool and seal jar.  Store in the refrigerator.  Paste will keep up to 12 months.

To serve, spoon onto serving dish to accompany cheese platter, at room temperature.

Fiona Hammond © May 2019

Mark Brancatisano