Pears can be quite the head wreckers, as fruit goes. They're one of those one-minute-it's-too-hard-the-next-minute-it's-half-rotten fruits. Life, quite frankly, is far too short for all of that messing around, so personally I'm more inclined to opt for the more predictable, reliable types, like apples and oranges. I found a whole new way to incorporate the pear into my life, however, as I was flicking through the Ballymaloe Cookery Course on the hunt for a marmalade recipe the other day. It turns out that Darina has a whole chapter devoted to breakfast! Swoon. Yes, the book is that huge that I have had it for over two years and never noticed the entire section on breakfast. Doh. Boy-oh-boy do I plan to make up for lost time with those lovely brekkie-filled pages. First stop: ginger pear compote, a sweet n spicy complement to the first meal of the day.
A punnet of pears (about 2lb) goes into the pot, along with 125ml water, 50ml sugar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1.5 tablespoons freshly grated ginger.
25 minutes of a simmer on the hob, and you get a lovely syrupy gloop of pears.
A good schkite (that's a word I got form my mam, she has quite a range of Roscommon-centric lingo that is so very spot-on in a wide, yet unpredictable, array of situations) of cinnamon into the porridge and I'm ready for the spicy pears.
This I cannot recommend more highly; the heat of the ginger is stunning, and the pears achieve an indulgently sticky texture after cooking in all of that sugar. You'll be doing extremely well to start your day with this - I don't know what the exact nutritional properties of ginger, pears and cinnamon are, but they fairly enhanced my mood.