What's for Dessert?

In Heir of Elendri: Destiny’s Lure, we learn quite a bit about Celyna and her life with her father. But we don’t really get to experience any of it.

In fact, while Celyna and Mordechai are as close as any Papa-Daughter duo could possibly be, they don’t even spend one scene together.

So, I thought I would take a moment and fill you in a little bit on what Pre-Xiuhcoatl Celyna was like.

First, she was a bookworm. Much happier with her nose stuck in a book than near anything else. Second, she was cautious (a side-effect of growing up in an overprotective home). And third…

She had one hell of a sweet tooth.

So, here is one of her favorite desserts!

Wardonys in syryp”

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Pears in wine and spices
ORIGINAL RECEIPT:

Wardonys in syryp.—Take wardonys, an caste on a potte, and boyle hem till þey ben tender; þan take hem vp and pare hem, an kytte hem in to pecys; take y-now of powder of canel, a good quantyte, an caste it on red wyne, an draw it þorw a straynour; caste sugre þer-to, an put it [in] an erþen pot, an let it boyle: an þanne caste þe perys þer-to, an let boyle to-gederys, an whan þey haue boyle a whyle, take pouder of gyngere an caste þer-to, an a lytil venegre, an a lytil safron; an loke þat it be poynaunt an dowcet.

– Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.
GODE COOKERY TRANSLATION:

Pears in Syrup. Take pears, and place in a pot, and boil until tender; take out and pare, and cut into pieces; take a large quantity of cinnamon, and add it to red wine, and pass through a strainer; add sugar, and place in an earthenware pot, and bring to a boil: and add the pears and let boil, and after awhile add ginger and a little vinegar and saffron; and see that it be both sour and sweet.

What’s wrong? Don’t live in a time when you can poach pears on the hearth? Okay, okay. Here is a modern approach to this awesome dessert. Try this, and you’ll understand why it’s my Celyna’s favorite dessert.

Red-wine poached pear tartlets

  • 3 cups dry red wine 
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 2 whole cloves 
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • Juice of one orange 
  • 1×3-inch strip orange zest 
  • 2 firm, ripe pears 
  • ready-made puff pastry 
  • melted butter 
  • Sugar (for sprinkling) 
  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine wine, sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves, vinegar, orange juice, and zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  2. While liquid is simmering, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Halve, core and put them into the saucepan in liquid, cover. 
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down to a very low simmer. Simmer, turning every 5 minutes, until pears are cooked but still firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from saucepan and set aside. 
  4. With a slotted spoon, remove the pears and set them on to a plate, careful not to pile them on top of eachother so they can cool better. 
  5. Right about now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 450 F 
  6. Bring the wine mixture back up to a boil and let it boil, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to about a third left. Leave the syrup to cool. 
  7. Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry. Use your pears to gauge how large the circles are that you need to cut, then place the rounds onto a lightly floured baking sheet. 
  8. Carefully slice the pear halves to form a fan (leaving the stem in tact) and place neatly on top of each puff pastry round. 
  9. Brush the rims of the puff pastry with the melted butter and then sprinkle with the sugar. 
  10. Bake 8-10 minutes, and serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and remaining syrup.

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