Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Julie versus the poached pear cupcake

Julie: 0, cupcake: 1

I swear I didn't dip into the port wine before starting to bake this recipe. I don't typically set up a mis-en-place when I'm just doing small batches of cupcakes, and it kicked my butt this time: I forgot to add my leavening! So while the cupcakes tasted really good, they were a bit dense. At least they weren't hockey puck dense, and I think they would've fooled someone who didn't know, but I knew. And I certainly do feel foolish. *blush*

Poaching the pears
poached pear cupcake

Mixing everything together ... except for my leavening *sigh*
poached pear cupcake

Baked cupcakes ... unrisen
poached pear cupcake

With reduced poaching liquid reduction glaze
poached pear cupcake

It really did taste good =)
poached pear cupcake

***
This mini-testing batch makes 4 cupcakes

Peel, halve, and core one pear (I've poached Bosc, Anjou, and Bartlett, and I think each would work in this recipe, but for this one, the only pear I had on hand was a Bartlett)

Combine:
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup wine (I used Port wine)

Submerge pear in liquid and slowly bring to boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes until pear is tender. Remove pear from liquid, set liquid aside, and let pear drain. Grate the pear once cool and drained.

Preheat oven to 350
Mix:
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together:
1/2 cup AP flour, 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/2 tsp pie spices, or any of those spices you'd put in a pie/poach a pear in

Add wet ingredients to dry, and whisk briefly to moisten dry ingredients. Add and stir in the grated pear. Fill large cupcake foils 3/4 full and bake until done, about 25 minutes. Remove baked cupcakes and allow to cool.

While the cupcakes cool, reduce the poaching liquid over medium heat, stirring or swirling continuously, until you have about 4 Tbsp of syrupy liquid. Allow to cool slightly, then pour over cupcakes. Serve immediately.
***

Hopefully, I can redo this before the Cupcake Roundup II deadline! Either way, it was a blast to come up with, fun to make, worth a good laugh, and yummy to eat!

Edit: The rematch happened here!

8 comments:

Dolores said...

Yeah, they look a little dense... but they also look DARN good. I'll be trying them soon, hoping I remember the leavening. Thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

Dolores, it killed me! I remember looking at them, wondering why they didn't top off the cup, or even rise at all! It was even worse when I tried it and all the flavors I was hoping for were there! It helped to use a nice Port wine--it really came through in the finished cupcake, and not just in the glaze. Let me know how your try goes!

Mike Marsh said...

Well, since they tasted good, you could call it a tie. Or maybe a Poached Pear Power Bar.

Julie said...

Mike, I'm gonna call for a rematch, tonight! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesdayyyyy!

I've been meaning to ask if you have any "spare" beer sitting around. Can you mail brew? If so, I think we should do a blog collaboration! A fellow blogger posted a recipe for beer bread--woot!

Mike Marsh said...

Our beer has no preservatives, so it'd probably be a bit dicey to mail it anywhere. Plus, we'd then be down at least one reusable container (for a little while), which when kegging can be a substantial loss. Transferring to another container tends not to work that well -- what arrives would probably be fuzzy.

That said, I'm sure there are local homebrewers who would be willing to supply the needed brew. Does the beer bread rely on the beer's yeast for leavening?

Julie said...

"Does the beer bread rely on the beer's yeast for leavening?"

Exactly that! And it lends flavor, too. I'll have to find a homebrewer. I wonder if Guinness would work.

Mike Marsh said...

It's difficult to find store-bought beer with live yeast. Most brands will be both pasteurized and filtered, so that if there's any yeast at all, it's likely to be dead. I think Affligem has live yeast, but I'm not positive. Guinness almost certainly does not. It should say on the label if there's live yeast in there. Most people prefer their beer yeast-free.

Julie said...

And yet, I always feel so foamy after drinking store-bought beer. I guess I'll have to save the Guinness for corned beef. *sigh*