Even though it's winter here in North America, we can still enjoy fruit such as White Pear Compote, or Compote Blanche de Poires, as it is called in the classic cookbook from 1879, Nouvelle Cuisiniére Canadienne.
The recipe, given on page 181 of the 1879 edition, seems rather simple, so let's give it a try!
Original French Text:
Compote Blanche de Poires
Jetez vos poires dans l'eau bouillante, et les retirez dans de l'eau fraîche avant leur entière cuisson; pellez-les, ôtez-en l'œil, rognez la queue, et remettez-les, entières ou coupées en deux, dans de l'eau fraîche; vous ferez ensuite un sirop dans une poêle; quand il bouillira, jetez vos poires dedans avec une tranche de citron, et laissez-les s'achever de cuire; on les sert chaudes ou froides à volonté.
White Pear Compote
Place the pears in boiling water, and then remove them into fresh water before they are fully cooked. Shovel out the core, trim the ends, and put them back, either whole or in half, in the fresh water; you will then make a syrup in a pan; when it boils, return the pears to the pan with a slice of lemon,, and let them finish cooking; they are served hot or cold as you wish.
Please note this is not a word-for-word translation. I tried to modify some of the phrases to make it easier to read in English. Also, this is a 19th century recipe, so it may sound odd to modern speakers, even in the original French. As always, please let me know if the translation needs to be modified. Either way, this is a fairly easy recipe to prepare. Luckily, pears are often readily available during cold season, so we can still enjoy fruit during these upcoming winter days.
Profitez de vos poires !
Enjoy your pears!