My cherry vanilla spoon sweet having run out, I needed something new with which to fill my jar and top my yogurt at breakfast. This time around, I was feeling pears. When it comes to making cooked fruit things (preserves, compote, spoon sweet, whatever), I am motivated by laziness: I don't want to buy random ingredients, and I can't be bothered with all the boiling and gloves and tongs involved in preserving the proper way. So, due to a pretty impromptu preparation, what I ended up with is hard to pin down: with its big chunks of red pear, it's most definitely not a jelly, but is it a jam either? And just by virtue of the fact that it lives in a jar, it just doesn't seem like a compote to me. I guess we could go with spoon sweet again, but I feel a little uncomfortable using that term authoratatively -- I've not had much experience with them other than the ones I made myself, and we all know I'm not a stickler. If anyone's got any ideas for a better name here, send them along.
Whatever it is though, it's delicious. The combination of pears, brown sugar, and rosemary is comforting, with the woodsiness of the rosemary cutting the sweetness, all coming together into a sensation that feels great on a grey chilly morning.
Pear Rosemary What's-It
I used red pears, whose skin added a pretty rosy hue to the end result, but Bosc or Bartlett would work great too. I didn't want to use too much sugar, and I didn't want to cook it too long either, for fear the pears would get too mushy. So, the resulting 'syrup' didn't thicken all too much. The what's-it still works great in yogurt, on its own, or as a topping for a simple dessert, but I might venture into the world of fruit pectin for the next go.
3 red pears, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small nonreactive saucepan. Cook until pears have cooked through and softened, but still have some texture -- about fifteen minutes. Transfer to a jar (including rosemary sprigs), and refrigerate.