In Greece, when you pay a visit to someone’s house, you are bound to be treated with at least a cup of coffee and some home made cake, cookies or ‘Gliko Tou Koutaliou’, which is translated as ‘Sweet Of The Spoon’.
This term is given to a type of specially prepared and preserved fruits and vegetables, which are kept in the fridge and can accompany coffee or tea at any time. They are very traditional in Greece and, although not for someone on a diet, they are a very clever way of preserving any fruit or vegetable which is unlikely to be used and turn it into a sweet treat.
Obviously, each fruit and vegetable will produce different results and, therefore, you really have to experiment to find your favourite one. Before you do that, however, you can try this recipe (as different fruits/vegetables require slightly different preparation).
1 kg pears
1 kg sugar
2.5 glasses of water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Squeeze one lemon and mix its juice with loads of water in a bowl.
2. Peel the pears and cut them lengthwise into four pieces. Carefully get rid of the pips.
3. Place the pears in the water/lemon mix.
4. In a large pan bring the 2.5 glasses of water (not the water in the bowl) and 1 glass of sugar to the boil and let it boil for 5 minutes.
5. Put the pears in the boiling water and let them boil for a further 5 minutes.
6. Add the remaining sugar, stir it in, carefully turn the pears over and boil for another 5 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and let the pears set into the syrup for 24 hours (yes, that’s correct, 1 day).
8. Bring again to the boil and let it boil until the syrup has set. You can test it with a spoon to ensure that it’s not watery.
9. Just before the syrup is ready, add the vanilla essence and the juice of the other lemon.
10. Take off heat a leave to cool down.
11. Place the pears and the syrup in a glass jar and refrigerate. It can last up to 2-3 months.