I was over my standard bacon and two eggs this morning and just liked the sound of Bubble and squeak. I wasn't disappointed - the eggs were nicely poached, the toast crisp and the vegetable melange well flavoured.
However when my partner offered me a taste of his Poached pear on french toasted brioche with blueberry curd and ricotta, the world stopped! This is a show stopping combination - the blueberry curd is so rich and thick it looks like chocolate and tastes divine. Combined with the french toasted brioche, ricotta and pear - well the effect is amazing. Chelsea chef Michael Hoare says the dish is a little fiddly but well worth the trouble and I have to agree. He has kindly shared the recipe below. Thank you Michael.
Poached pear on french toasted brioche with blueberry curd and ricotta
500g frozen blue berries
250g unsalted butter
8 egg yolks
370g caster sugar
1 teas lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
Whisk yolks and sugar until combined. Dice butter to the size of your fruit and place in a pot with your berries, zest and juice, heat gently until the butter has melted. Pour onto your yolks and sugar slowly so as not to cook the yolks whisking continuously. Place your bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook stirring continuously crushing the blue berries as you stir, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and has thickened. (approx 90 c) take off the heat and place into containers and place cling film over the curd to create a second skin.
Pear poaching liquid
250g light and hard palm sugar
750g graded sugar
125g soft brown sugar
10g baby cassia bark quills or cinnamon
2 vanilla pods scraped (pods and all in)
4 beurre bosce pears
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to the simmer gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugars. While this is happening, prepare your pears by taking a melon baller and removing the core and seeds, then peel your pears and place in enough water with lemon in it to stop discolouration. When liquid is up to the simmer, place your prepared pears in and poach very gently with a plate on top so that the pears are submerged for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Cool.
French toast mix
200ml thickened cream
Good pinch of toasted and ground cassia bark
1 ½ teas vanilla essence
1 1/2 tbs of organic honey
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until all combined.
Preheat your oven to 200 c, heat 2 large non stick pans that are big enough to hold two large pieces of brioche. Cut brioche into 4 x 1 inch slices and place in egg mix and soak evenly on both sides for approximately two minutes. In heated pans, place ¼ cup of veg oil and ¼ cup of clarified butter and heat until a medium heat. Lightly caramelize one side of the brioche and turn and place in the oven with two pears in each pan, cook for approximately 3 minutes and turn french toast again and place back in the oven, keep turning until toast is golden all over.
Once ready place on a plate with your pear and dress with curd, a generous spoonful of wet ricotta (preferably paesanella brand) some toasted flaked almonds and icing sugar. Serves 4 with enough curd to have on some crumpets, if you like.