Roped Pears (poached pears in puff pastry)

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Even though Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope is one of his lesser known movies, it’s always been one of my favorites. You know who was killed and who committed the murder in the first 3 minutes, but it becomes a game of cat and mouse, as these two of a kind friends (or a “pair” of friends), struggle to maintain their composure while the threat of being discovered is a heavy presence in the room. Shot in very few takes and banned earlier because of it’s “homosexual undertones” in 1948, Rope has become almost a cult classic. It was Hitchcock’s first color movie, giving it a more modern look, but keeping the colors muted due to the “serious subject matter”. See full review and roped pear recipe video here: https://youtu.be/ZkWbnCfwetA

Watching Brandon and Phillip banter and parry back and forth, made me think they are quite the pair! So I wrapped this “pear” with a pastry “rope” to savor while watching the movie on a chilly fall afternoon. The pears are poached in an absolutely delicious maple ginger mixture which tastes just like fall (enough with pumpkin spice already!) and then it’s wrapped in the easiest, flakiest puff pastry dough that melts in your mouth. The maple ginger mixture is tea based, rather than wine, because first of all, not that big a wine fan and secondly, poaching in wine has been done to death!

So I hope you’ll give this movie and this recipe a try. Puff pastry, especially this easy “rough” version isn’t as scary as you might think. Its mostly just a bit of rolling and folding and chilling. You can use frozen ready-made puff pastry, but you don’t exactly know what’s in it, and this is so much more rewarding. You don’t have to be Julia Child to get a nice flaky pastry dough!
Roped Pears (Poached Pears in Puff Pastry)

Puff Pastry Dough (can be made up to 2 days ahead):

2 sticks butter, chilled
8 ounces all purpose flour ( a little over 1 cup)
4 ounces water (1/2 cup)

Cut butter into small pieces and toss with flour. Gradually add water and blend until dough just holds together. Form a disc, wrap in plastic and chill 20 minutes. At this point: You could poach your pears and let cool while finishing your dough. (see below)

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You can still see fairly large chunks of butter. This is what will provide the flakiness!

Take your dough out of the frig and unwrap. On floured surface, roll dough to large rectangle, about 16″ x 12″. This does not have to be precise! it should be about 1/8″ thick.

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Now you’re going to fold in into thirds, like a business letter. (This is actually called a “book fold”.

Now turn so that the fold is facing you and roll out again to 1/8 inch, fold into a book fold, wrap and chill another 20 minutes.

Repeat rolling and folding process one more time and chill again.
Poached Pears

4 cups water (or enough to barely cover pears in medium saucepan)
2 teabags of desired flavor (I used Celestial Seasonings Vermont Maple and Ginger)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (could use cinnamon stick instead)

Bring this mixture just to a boil, turn off heat and let steep. Add peeled and cored pears and bring back to boil, let boil gently about 10 minutes or until pears are just barely tender. Let cool in tea mixture.

While pears are cooling, you can roll out your pastry dough for cutting. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut dough into long strips to wrap around each pear. Each pear will take about 2 strips to cover.

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You can be as precise as you like; as you can see, I like to be “rustic”! Also cut out a round piece of dough to just cover the bottom of your pear.

Dry your pear slightly, place pear onto dough round, then start wrapping the strips of dough around your pear, spiraling upward toward the stem.

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Repeat for all 4 pears, placing on aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water, being careful to brush on dough lightly, we don’t want scrambled eggs, dearie!

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly then rmoe form baking sheet and serve. These are best served warm and same day.

Makes 4 delicious maple ginger flavored wrapped pears in puff pastry. Can I “rope” you into trying them?

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