This is a dessert that I cooked for a gathering at AA and EM's place. They all liked it; i.e. the 2 Japanese ladies, the Romanian, PY (my PRC GNIE classmate) and the French couple AA and EM. In addition, I shared some with HC (my Canadian friend who originate from Hong Kong) who liked it after added a bit of sugar to further sweeten the dessert.
Note: This dessert is supposedly good for coughs (thanks to the pears) and nourishes the complexion. It can be served hot or cold. Some like it hot, some like it cold.
Stewed Pear (Chinese version) 中式炖梨
Ingredients for 10 servings:
5 pears. Barlett, Peckham, Anjou or French Butter preferred.
1 clump of Snow-Ear fungus 雪耳 Note: Snow-Ear fungus 雪耳 is preferred over white-wood-ear fungus 白木耳 because the folds are tighter and its texture is softer when cooked.
5 honeyed dates 蜜枣
Sugar or sweetener to taste. I used about 3-5 tablespoons of honey. Molasses can be used if preferred.
Ingredients in a pot, before cooking.
1. Wash the pears. Remove and discard the core. Chop into small chunks, e.g. 1.5cm x 1.5cm x 3cm. Put into the pot, with the skin on.
2. Rinse the snow-ear fungus. Chop into small chunks, e.g. 1cm x 1cm x 1cm. Add into the pot.
3. De-seed the honeyed dates. Dice and add into the put.
4. Add about half of the sweetener. Add a few shakes of cinnamon (do not add too much, or it would overpower the pears). Stir to mix.
5. Add around 5 bowls of water, enough to cover the ingredients with about 2-3cm extra. Slow-cook for around 2 hours. Shorten cooking time if the pears are very ripe; conversely cook for 3 hours if the pears are very raw. Ensure that the ingredients are covered by the water, top-up with more water if too much is boiled off.
6. When cooked, stir and taste a tablespoon of the dessert. If needed, add more sweetener and/or ground cinnamon. Be careful not to add too much sweetener/cinnamon that the subtle flavours of the pear is overpowered.
7. Serve hot. Or if preferred, scoop into a container. Leave to cool; and when cool, put into the refrigerator. Serve cold.
Stewed Pear (Chinese version)
-- ready to be served.