Pierre from the magnificent Pierre cuisine suggested a duo; we would each create a dish inspired by Lebanese cuisine and use one specific ingredient: Orange blossom water.
Apparently both he and I had memories of drinking it as a soothing herbal tea in childhood.
One thing was certain: Pierre was going to make something smashing! So head on over to his blog to check it out.
My idea was the following: Poach some pears in a light syrup. Core them and stuff them with custard cream. Coat them in fried kadaifi and serve them with chopped pistachios.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
- Custard cream: 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1 tbsp of orange blossom water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 4 to 6 pears (firm)
- Poaching liquid: Water to almost cover the fruit
- 1 cup of sugar
- a squeeze of lemon on the pears
- Peel of an orange
- 1 cup of kadaifi
- 1/2 cup of clarified butter
- 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios
- Peel the pears and squeeze some lemon on them. Place in a large saucepan and pour the water and sugar over them; add the orange peel and bring to a slow simmer. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until they are soft. Cool.
- Beat the eggs and sugar till thick in a saucepan. Pour the milk and orange juice (less 1/2 cup of milk) and stir continuously; when the mixture starts steaming, add the remaining milk to which you would have dissolved the cornstarch. Stir continuously until thick, add the orange blossom water and keep stirring till very thick; add one tablespoon of butter and remove from heat. (If the cream curdles, plunge an immersion blender in there and smooth it out in a few seconds); cover with plastic (touching the surface) and place in the fridge to firm up and cool.
- Assembly: Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the kadaifi till golden. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the extra butter and dry out.
- Core the pears gently from the bottom with a sharp knife and a grapefruit spoon, leaving enough space for the cream. Inser the cream and place on individual plates. Coat with the kadaifi and surround with chopped pistachios.
NOTE: You can reduce the pear syrup till thickened and serve it alongside the pears.
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