Spring Cleaning

Spring, at long last.  I can’t help but sigh a bit when I say those words out loud; The sun suddenly seems just a shade brighter, the day, a few minutes longer, just because the calendar officially declares it the vernal equinox.  It’s as if winter had become an a weight that is now being lifted from my shoulders.  The wind may still have a bite to it, and the trees still look as barren as dead twigs, but I know that it really is spring, that there truly is an end in sight to this harsh, difficult period of time.

Marking the occasion, making certain that this is the point of no return, the change of a bad pattern, I couldn’t help but indulge in a quick bout of spring cleaning before heading out to work.  So deep and cluttered is my closet that a true cleaning could easily require a full week, minimum, and so neurotic is my need to organize that that time could easily stretch out into a month; it was a safer bet to start in the kitchen.  Rifling through the refrigerator, there were plenty of old odds and ends that were in sore need of attention… Although for too many, that attention came a bit too late.  Out went the tubs of moldy sweet potato puree, and a cup or two of grayed fruit juice went down the drain.  Such a shame that these things went to waste, but better to remove them before they become toxic.

Poking through the freezer after the worst of the fridge had been taken care of, it was like opening up a long-buried treasure chest, brimming with delights waiting to be discovered.  It was there, beneath bags of rock-solid cherries and peas, that I found one ghost from the past, still shining with potential.  Yes, I had forgotten about it completely, but it all came back to me in a flash; It was the other half of the danish dough I made for a Daring Baker challenge, many moons ago.  Defrosted and rolled out thin, I was overjoyed that it bounced back just as a fresh, tender dough ought to.

Lacking the time to bake off a large braid, individual danishes seemed to fit the bill just fine.  For filling, it was only natural to reach back into the fridge and use up what had been sitting there for far too long, waiting for the right use- Pomegranate juice!  As much as I love the stuff, I could never drink it plain, and it typically gets diluted when baked into things, making it difficult to taste in the finished product.   Indeed, it would be a perfectly prominent flavor to poach pears in instead, making for a sweet and tart topping to my little pastries.

Easy as can be, the pomegranate-poached pears were sliced thin and laid over unbaked pastry, and fired off in the oven for a few minutes.  Still warm, the flaky crust cradles that juicy fruit filling, just sweet enough to satisfy, but definitely something that one could easily get away with calling breakfast.  Best of all, you don’t need any frozen danish dough to enjoy it, either as those poached pears alone are delicious all by themselves… But a bit of caramel or chocolate sauce over the top wouldn’t hurt, either.

Simple Pomegranate Poached Pears

3 Cups 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
5 Firm but Ripe Pears
1 Wedge of Lemon

Combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and orange zest in a medium-sized pot and set it over moderate heat.  Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.  Meanwhile, peel the pears and rub the exposed sides with the wedge of lemon, to prevent browning. Place the naked pears into the pot, partially cover the pan, and simmer over low heat for approximately 25 – 30 minutes. If the pears aren’t completely covered by the liquid, you should turn them ever 10 minutes so that they cook evenly. When they’re done, they should be tender enough that they just barely resist the prick of a fork. Serve warm, or let them cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours, and serve chilled on a warm spring day.

Printable Recipe

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46 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Yay for spring cleaning!! Look at all the treasures you can find!! This little treat looks fantastic. Pomegranite and pears sound like such an awesome combination. YUMMMY!

  2. what a nice treat! you surely made the most of your spring cleaning :) nice way of cleaning. The pears look so good over that flacky pastry oh I love it.

  3. It’s quite funny to see that spring apparently arrives at the same time across continents and countries! The weather has been lovely here as well and while still cold (we had -3 celcius last night) it is looking very sunny and promising outside right now. And look what treasures you found during your spring cleaning! Love the photos!!!

  4. You always amaze me with your baked goods! Not only is it beautiful, but I’m sure it’s super delicious!

  5. I’ve been craving pears as Spring neared, but I didn’t want then in the same old ways. Thanks for the refreshing idea.

  6. It’s so fulfilling to make something out of what most people would just throw away. I never throw anything away! There’s always a use for something ;)

  7. These looks amazing!! I just tried making pomegranate bbq tofu, and was wondering what to do with the pomegranate juice I had left over… this is perfect!!

  8. Pears and the pastry look just beautiful. I am going to try cleaning out my own freezer and see what wonderful surprises I might find that my family will enjoy eating. Happy Spring from Minnesota. YEAH!

    Buon appetito,

    Carmela

  9. I amso phyched for sping, woo hoo! Fabulous and simple pears- This would probably be good with peaches, ut it may stain their delicate orange color :)

  10. Yum Yum. I looooove pears in desserts. I made a wonderful pear & cranberry tart with almond crust a few months ago (I think is was from VWAV cookbook) and fell in love with cooked pears all over again! This one looks delish. I have some very old frozen phillo dough in my freezer right now :) That is my kind of spring cleaning!

  11. What a perfect way to use some of your POM juice! I have a bottle just waiting for me to do something in my fridge right now. These are beautiful. And quite delicious looking as well!

  12. I think it may finally be springtime here in Texas – yeehaw!

    Wow, pomegranate juice really brightens up the pears. Your danishes are really lovely.

  13. Mmmmm. Now I want delicious pomegranate soaked pears for lunch. Yummy! As usual, all of your goodies look fabulous.

  14. I loved that Danish recipe! The poached pears sound delicious with it. My spring freezer cleaning has only yielded a couple of forgotten blocks of collards, not quite as exciting.

  15. We always find interesting things whenever we clean our cupboards, too. Isn’t it awesome how cleaning can give you inspiration for cooking and baking?

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