Poached Pears is a really classical dessert, but sometimes it's a bit disappointing because the syrup around the pears is a bit watery. What I like to do is add flavour and stickiness with a little bit of sugar, so there is nothing watery about this recipe.
Sometimes eating a fresh apricot is a little disappointing, but when the flavour intensifies through the jam making process, then I think it is out there on its own. The season for fresh apricots comes and goes before you know where you are, but if you are lucky enough to land on a glut of this rather unusual fruit, it's well worth making a decent quantity of jam.
This is a bit of a cheat, not really cooking at all, unless you count boiling the beans and the quail's eggs. Traditionally it is regarded as a lunchtime filler for hungry workers in the fields, probably washed down with a jug of robust local wine.