I was invited to watch a cookery demonstration at the Miele showroom in London by the lovely TV chef, Silvana Franco. Silvana was using the steam oven and prepared a number of dishes that were suitable for children (and weaning babies).
The beauty of the steam oven is that more of the food’s nutrients are retained during cooking. In addition to this – and rather surprisingly – is the fact that there seems to be no transference of tastes in the foods cooked together in the steamer. This means that you can cook your main meal and dessert at the same time, thus reducing time spent in the kitchen; something that is always a winner for me!
One of the dishes that Silvana prepared was vanilla poached pears; a dish that is incredibly easy to prepare and delicious served warm or chilled. Below, I have included a recipe.
Vanilla poached pears
Ingredients (serves 4 young children):
- 2 ripe pears, cored and cut into quarters or smaller pieces
- 5 tablespoons of pressed apple juice
- Half a vanilla pod, split
- Greek yogurt or fromage frais to taste
- Cut the pear pieces into suitable sizes (for children, these will need to be smaller). If making this for young babies, puree the pears once cooked.
- Place the pears, apple juice and vanilla pod in a heatproof dish. Cover with clingfilm and steam at 100ºC for 4 to 6 minutes (depending on size and ripeness), until very tender.
- If pureeing, do so while the pears are hot (remember to remove the vanilla pod). Otherwise, leave to cool for a short time and serve warm or chilled with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt or fromage frais.