Makes 4 toddler servings (¼ cup); or 2 adult servings (½ cup)
Age: Appropriate for age 9 months and up (pears are fine for babies of all ages, but the spices in this recipe my be a bit much for younger babies.)
Tips: Poached pears are a comforting dish for the whole family—and cooking them makes the whole house smell delicious. They work well with plain yogurt or a yogurt sauce. For a simple yogurt sauce, combine 3 to 4 Tbs. of cooled poaching liquid with ½ cup plain yogurt.
You may also serve them as an accompaniment to poultry.
You may wish to use nonalcoholic vanilla extract or omit, unless your child is 12 months and up.
4 medium fresh pears
4 cups water
2 to 3 slices fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. nonalcoholic vanilla extract
1 tsp. blackstrap molasses
¼ tsp. cardamom (optional)
1 Tbs. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional for 12 months and up)
1. Wash, core, seed, and halve pears. Peel only if puréeing.
2. In large saucepan, combine water, ginger, cinnamon stick, vanilla, blackstrap molasses, and, if using, cardamom and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add pears, reduce heat to low, and cook lightly for about 15 minutes.
4. Flip and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until fork tender but not mushy.
5. Remove pears using a slotted spoon and place in a baking dish.
6. Simmer the liquid, uncovered, for about 5 minutes more, until liquid is reduced by half. Remove ginger and cinnamon stick using a slotted spoon. Pour liquid over pears.
7. Serve warm or cold, refrigerated for about 8 hours to overnight, with optional yogurt sauce on top. Refrigerate in a sealed container up to 3 days, or freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months.
PER SERVING (1/4 cup): 51 CAL; 0 G PROT; 0 G TOTAL FAT; 14 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 4 MG SOD; 3 G FIBER; 8 G SUGARS
From the article First Foods