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While the delicious. team are testing recipes, they’re often debating the best ways to do things as well as answering cooking questions that arise in the test kitchen. What’s the best way to make sure your hard-boiled eggs are easy to peel? How do you save chocolate that’s seized or split? How should you look after kitchen pots and pans? It’s the kind of information you won’t find anywhere else, and it will help take your cooking to the next level.



I love pears when they’re soft, sweet, and chindribblingly juicy. But like buses and boyfriends, they do all come at once. Save some for later by preserving or freezing them. (If only it was this easy with boyfriends.)

FREEZE Pears need to be cooked before freezing or they’ll oxidise to a muddy brown. Choose firm pears, then peel, halve and core them (a melon baller is ideal for this). Poach in a light sugar syrup (200g sugar dissolved in 1 litre boiling water) with a split vanilla pod added to the liquid. Freeze on trays first, then pack into bags and store in the freezer for up to a year. PRESERVE Pickled pears are the perfect accompaniment to ham, and pretty darned good with cold turkey too, so now is the time to bottle them up in time for Christmas feasting.

Peel 2kg hard pears, halve them (or quarter large pears) and scoop out the cores. Tiny pears, which are best of all, can be left whole. Put in a pan with 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tbsp mixed lightly crushed peppercorns, 1 litre cider vinegar and 700g sugar. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a simmer and cook until the pears are just tender. Spoon the pears into sterilised jars, pour over the hot syrup and spices, ensuring the pears are completely submerged, then seal and store for up to 6 months.

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About delicious. Magazine

Have you ever wanted to make your own Christmas pudding or cake for the big feast? Now you can with the new issue of delicious. It’s got the best recipes for Stir-up Sunday (26 November). Plus you can start planning for the festivities with our freeze-ahead casseroles, food lovers’ gift guide and cook book roundup. If that’s not enough to gladden the heart, Nigel Slater’s autumn classics, Paul Hollywood’s best bakes and a foolproof molten chocolate pud will definitely bring plenty of comfort and joy. Buy your copy today!