Recipe: chocolate-dipped key lime pears
Oh weekend, I hardly knew ya. We are always up for a ski, provided there is decent snow. But we haven’t had much snow lately, so we took Neva for a hike to scope out part of the high country. It was rocks and dirt, then ice, then snow, then snirt and more rocks. Patchy conditions annoy me more than anything because it’s a pain to get your skis on and off every twenty feet, but it also sucks to have to get microspikes on and off your shoes. I suppose we could snowshoe, except we swore off snowshoing the day we learned to ski in the backcountry. The mere thought of going back to snowshoes is a major snoozefest (sorry snowshoers, but I speak the truth). Eventually we reached consistent snow cover, then really decent snow for skiing (which meant not so great for hiking). Snow began to fall from the sky and Jeremy squeezed my hand through our gloves.
which way to go? jeremy looks left and neva looks right
The snow didn’t last long and then the winds arrived to make the snowpack sucky. I battled kitchen disasters then went to bed early to ward off a potential cold. Instead of trying to make a ski day the next morning, we opted for a round of fetch at the elementary school soccer field and then spent several hours cleaning out the basement. Neva thought the fetch part was great, but had a lesser opinion of the house cleaning.
catching the ball in mid air
floating back to earth
I always forget how much I enjoy pears until they are practically screaming at me from the produce aisle in November. For a while when we were without a dog, Jeremy and I adhered to a strict rule of not sharing a pear between two people. It’s a superstition that Grandma and a lot of Chinese people follow – because the Chinese word for pear sounds the same as the Chinese word for “split up”. Now with Neva, we can all three share a pear safely (Neva is loving little nibbles of pear).
A few years ago, I was in San Francisco visiting Recchiuti Confections when I spied their key lime pears – wafer thin slices of pear soaked in key lime juice and dipped in dark chocolate. I purchased a box to bring home for Jeremy, because he likes pears and he loves chocolate. They were spendy, so each slice was precious. Each slice really was precious. I became obsessed. When I returned to San Francisco later, I decided to purchase Michael Recchiuti’s cookbook for the sole purpose of getting the recipe for the key lime pears. My pal, Lisa (whose blog is Lisa is Bossy, but my mom has since named her “Lisa is the Boss”), asked if I was going to blog it. I said yes, of course. That was more than a couple of years ago. So it’s time to make good on my word.
water, sugar, bartlett pears, key limes, and chocolate
A word on ingredients. The recipe instructs you to use bartlett pears that are green and hard. Please do this. I have made this recipe twice. The first time was with bartlett pears that were green and rock hard. They turned out beautifully (as you will see). The second batch that I attempted this past weekend was a lot harder to deal with because I couldn’t find bartletts (I only went to one store), so I used the hardest variety I could find – red D’anjou pears. Those didn’t work well at all. The flesh is too soft and they nearly disintegrate during the soaking process. So absolutely follow the recipe on the pear variety and hardness unless you like to make yourself miserable. For chocolate, please use a good quality dark chocolate. There aren’t many ingredients in the recipe, but the quality makes all the difference. And finally, if you can’t find key limes, you can use regular limes. You won’t need as many because they’re much larger.
make a sugar syrup with water and sugar
juice the key limes
add the lime juice to the syrup
**Jump for more butter**