Monday, May 31, 2010

Pear Patina

So the Romans had very savory and flavorful dishes.  At the end of a meal, they needed to counter some of the intense flavors of the main dishes with a palate cleanser of sorts.  They often used sweet breads, fruits, pudding or egg-based dishes with cheese.  This patina is a custard of sorts that combines most of these ideas.

I started by peeling and halving 4 pears and taking the cores out.  I simmered them in water until they were soft.  I scooped them out of the wine and smashed them in a bowl with honey, pepper, cumin and sweet raisin wine (passum).  Meanwhile, I had eggs and milk in a mixer and was combining them until they were "fluffy."  I added the pear mixture and blended the whole thing together.  I poured it into a baking dish and baked for about 25 minutes. 

I had no idea what to expect out of this, except that with the eggs and milk it would be a sort of custard dish.  It was.  And it was good.  It tasted like fresh pears (and wine!).  It turned out really watery, and I'm not sure exactly how to avoid that, other than maybe making it in a smaller dish next time.  It didn't look overly appetizing, but it sure tasted good.  And it was perfect as a finishing taste, not to sweet or heavy, just a nice ending for a meal...

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