Preparation time 15 minutes plus time for cooling and chilling
Cooking time 50 minutes
1.25 kg/2 1/2lb pears peeled and quartered and cored
150g/5 oz brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 vanilla pod
125ml/4 fl oz water
Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring the contents to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for about 50 minutes. If necessary add a little more water from time to time to prevent the mxture from sticking to the base of the pan Leave the compote to cool and then chill in a refrigerator if using that day or later. Serve with cream fraiche or cream.
To store this as a long term preserve reduce the cooking time of the fruit by about 35 minutes. Prepare your jars as for jam. Ladle in the compote to the jars add a splash of lemon juice per jar and sterilise for 20 minutes in a large pan of boiling water. I always pad the bottom of the pan out with new dishcloths or a tea towel. Leave in pan to cool and then store in a dark dry place.