I think when Aristotle famously said "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" he was probably talking about my scrumptious Bartlett Pear~Vanilla Bean Preserves.
Half-pints, filled with hot Bartlett Pear~Vanilla Bean Preserves. Look closely...you can see the tiny vanilla bean seeds.
Sure I think Bartlett Pears are delicious, especially when I've had the good fortune of being able to pluck one from a tree, perfectly golden ripe and a little warm from a sunny Fall day. I think pears (as food) are elegant, versatile and tasty, and that they look just as pretty in a bowl (as decoration) as they do in a recipe.
Likewise I love Vanilla Beans. I will never forget a gorgeous cocktail I had in the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant of the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens.
Vanilla Mojito at the Hacienda del Oro in Puerto Vallarta
This side view of the Vanilla Mojito shows the tiny vanilla bean seeds even better.
I don't remember every detail about the Vanilla Mojito. I know it contained rum, fresh mint, star fruit and a sugar cane swizzle stick. Mostly I remember it had a whole vanilla bean as a garnish. The plumpest, and most incredibly fragrant vanilla bean I had ever seen. It made quite an impression on me. That bean came from an orchid grown right there at the botanical gardens...one that had been carefully hand-pollinated and lovingly tended....but I digress...
So you've got it, right? I think both Bartlett pears and vanilla beans are pretty special. Together? Holy Moley, hold on to your hat. You are in for a treat.
Besides the pears and the vanilla bean, you need fresh lemons and sugar.
Peeled pears, sugar, lemon juice & zest and a vanilla bean (which has been split open length-wise so that the seeds can be scraped into the mixture.)
It's hard for some people to believe these 4 ingredients, combined with heat...
...can turn out something with such elegant flavors and rich luscious texture as my Bartlett Pear~Vanilla Bean Preserves. But hey, that's why I like to preserve; it means I get to experience that magic every time I'm in the kitchen.
This morning, the Bartlett Pear~Vanilla Bean Preserves made my ordinary English muffin taste like a fancy fruit-filled pastry...
...and the sweet smell of my preserves even woke up our old Pug, who was quite curious to see what all the fuss was about. He was more than a little disappointed to see it was a food photo shoot and not a "Preserve Sampling Party." He advised me not to use the fake yellow pear food prop ever again.