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Scottish Oats with Vanilla and Lemon Poached Pears


Erin Campbell enjoys making this dish spooned over Scottish oats — the pears offer a contrast to the crunch and toasty notes of the porridge. To get the right consistency of the porridge, Campbell adds a little more water at the end of cooking and taste-tests along the way. When the oats become nutty and chewy, they are ready. After the pear is poached, you’re good to go. “Poaching is great, as it will turn a hard, unripe pear into a tender, sweet and flavorful one,” Campbell explains.  

Scottish Oats with Vanilla and Lemon Poached Pears
| Makes 2 servings
Recipe courtesy of the Arthur Morgan House

Vanilla and Lemon Poached Pears

4 firm pears
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
Peel of 2 lemons
Juice of 3 lemons
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups sweet white wine (optional)

Peel, halve and core pears. Place in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds, spices, lemon juice and peel, sugar and wine. Add water to cover. (If omitting wine, add enough water to cover.) Stir gently, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until pears are easily pierced with a knife. Remove pan from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a cutting board, reserving poaching liquid. Slice cooled pears into 1/2-inch wedges. Return to poaching liquid. Cover to keep warm.

Scottish Oats

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Scottish oats
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup equal mix of dried currants 
and dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted pecans
2 tablespoons coconut flakes 
(toasted or plain)
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Unsweetened almond or rice milk

Pour water into a saucepan, then add oats, salt and dried fruit. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for approximately 10 minutes. Oats are done when they turn into a chewy texture. Divide into two large bowls, top with a few warm poached pear slices and spoon a bit of poaching liquid over oats. Garnish with toasted pecans, coconut flakes and sesame seeds. Serve with unsweetened almond or rice milk.