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Camomile-smoked pear pastilles, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

16 October 2009
Camomile-smoked pear pastilles, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

Madalene Bonvini-Hamel is the founder of The British Larder.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 24 pastilles)

  • 10g fresh camomile
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 500g Conference pears
  • 50g loose camomile tea
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 180g glucose
  • 20g pectin
  • Golden caster sugar for garnish

METHOD

Place the fresh camomile, 30g of caster sugar and water into a small saucepan over a low heat. Dissolve the sugar and bring the syrup to the boil. Cook for two minutes.

Peel, core and cut the pears into quarters, then place in a vacuum bag with the camomile syrup and seal on hard vacuum. Let the pears infuse overnight.

Drain the pears and keep the syrup. Place the pears on a cooling rack. Mix half of the camomile tea with 30ml of cold water, and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Spread the soaked tea over a roasting tray and mix the rest of the dry tea in with the wet tea. Place the cooling rack over the tea.

Cover the tray with foil and place the tray over a naked flame. The tea will start to smoke, and once you have a sufficient amount of smoke remove the tray from the naked flame, and set aside for 30 minutes so the pears take on the flavour of the smoke.

Line a 14cm x 21cm x 1.5cm tray with a double layer of clingfilm.

Place the pears and the retained liquid into the bowl of the Thermomix and blend for five minutes on speed 10.

Place 500g of the pear purée and glucose in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the purée reaches 107°C.

Mix 300g of caster sugar with the pectin and add to the boiling pear mixture. Melt the sugar, bring the mixture back to the boil and cook until it reaches 107°C for the second time. Immediately pour the boiling hot mixture into the lined tray and leave to set completely at room temperature.

Cut the pear pastilles into squares and roll each square in golden caster sugar.

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