Tuesday, October 19

Savarin with poached pears


Some things are so weird. This is one of them. It's so bizarre that I'm at a loss as to whether or not I like it. This is apparently savarin, I've never had (or made) savarin so I'm not sure if it's supposed to be as weird as my rendition is.

Probably more knowledgeable folks that I will have eaten savarin before made by someone who actually knows how to make it - someone who knows good and bad. Someone who is decisive about their likes and dislikes.

I feel I should like this because taste-wise it's rather nice, but texture-wise it's just weird. There's so much syrup in it that it's completely squishy. I'm not a squishy food kind of girl - I can't stand things like bread and butter pudding - the way the liquid filled solid thing squelches around in my mouth. Good description there?

Anyway, looking at the picture (not my picture, the picture in the magazine) there's looks just as squishy. That's good, I suppose?

Though I'm umm-ing and ahh-ing about the savarin, I am definitely not torn about my feeling towards the poached pears. They're delicious, and this is coming from a girl who claims not to enjoy red wine. They're sweet, pretty, soothing delicious.

Savarin with poached pears

(from Gourmet Traveller & Decadence by Philip Johnson)
makes 8-10 savarin and 8 poached pears

For the savarin

175g plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried yeast
125ml lukewarm milk
2 eggs, at room temperature
60g butter, softened and coarsely chopped
30g raisins

Preheat the oven to 180°C, butter eight 7cm savarin moulds or six 10cm bundt tins.

Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the milk and the eggs and mix until smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Add the butter and beat on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth and homogeneous, about 8-10 minutes. Add the raisins and mix to combine. Then half-fill the prepared savarin moulds or tins and stand in a warm place until risen, around 10-15 minutes. Bake until golden and well risen, about 6-10 minutes. When cooked, turn the savarin out on to a wire rack, piece each one several times with a thin skewer, then transfer to a deep tray.

For the syrup

250g caster sugar
500ml water
60ml light bodied red wine

While the savarin is rising, begin the syrup.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the red wine, then pour the syrup over the cooked savarin. Stand, occasionally turning the savarin, until they are puffed and saturated, or 5-6 hours.

When you are ready to serve, transfer the savarin to a non-stick pan and pour over any remaining syrup. Warm gently over low heat. Serve with poached pears or ice-cream.

For the poached pears

Zest of 1/2 lemon, peeled into strips
1 cinnamon stick
100g caster sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) light bodied red wine
250ml (1 cup) water
4 ripe but firm pears, halved, peeled, and cored

Combine the lemon zest, cinnamon stick, caster sugar, wine, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce to a simmer. Immerse the pears and cover with baking paper and a plate to keep them submerged. Poach for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

Allow the pears to cool in the poaching liquid, then transfer them to a bowl and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid through a fine sieve and return to the saucepan - discarding the aromatics. Return the pan to medium heat and simmer until reduced by one-third. Pour the syrup over the pears and refrigerate until required.


  1. This pear looks so good, I just want a bite of it!

  2. i am also not a fan of squishy foods, bread pudding is a no-no for me.

    however, i am a recent pears poached in wine convert; it is completely enjoyable to me, biting into the soft sweet flesh of the pear.