Asian pears, also called Chinese pears or apple pears, are firm, crunchy,
and surprisingly juicy. Once steamed, with honey and jujubes, the pears
become tender and the broth is soothing and not overly sweet.
6 nearly ripe Asian pears
6 tablespoons honey
9-10 jujubes (dried red dates) softened in water and chopped in fourths
pieces of cinnamon bark
1. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear so that it will stand upright.
Peel the pears and rub the surface with a cut lemon half to prevent them from turning brown. Cut the top squarely off each pear, slicing about 2 inches from the top, and with a melon baller or spoon, carefully remove the core and seeds. Do not cut through to the bottom of the pear. Reserve the tops.
2. Arrange the pears on a pie plate or some kind of a heatproof plate.
Place some of the cut up jujubes into the hollowed out pear and spoon a
tablespoon of the honey into each pear. Arrange a piece of cinnamon in the
hollow with the jujubes. Place the reserved tops on the pears, if necessary securing them with toothpicks. Place the plate in a steamer tray if using.
3. Fill a wok or large pot with enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer tray and bring to a boil. Or create your own steamer by balancing the plate on a tuna fish can (both ends removed) that has been placed in the center of the pot. Cover and steam 40 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is tender when pierced with a knife. Serve the Asian pears warm (with ice cream), at room temperature, or cold.