In my recent post on Health Preservation & Best Health Practices in Autumn I introduced the idea of body fluid production and importance of promoting health of Lung and Large Intestine organs in Fall Season. This recipe works really well for both dry cough and constipation and I often recommend it to my patients. Even though you can buy already made version of it from RePear, I decided to make it from scratch.
I was too lazy to drive to San Gabriel Valley to get Apricot Kernels and I did not anticipate purchasing it from an Herbal shop (Big Mistake!), but Amazon always comes to the rescue and I did find a 1 lb bag there that was delivered to me within couple of days. I did however go to Galleria Market (you can also find it in 99 Ranch Markets or other Asian stores in your area) to buy Asian Pear. I was really looking forward to making this simple Taiwanese desert.
Day 1. You have to leave Apricot Kernels soaking in water overnight as they are toxic and this process minimizes toxicity.
Day 2. I had to peel kernels by hand since “Amazon” version came with skin on. Avoid my mistake by purchasing them from Chinese Herbal Shop as they are traditionally sold in a peeled form. After spending an hour peeling them, I had to then boil them for 4hours!!! Long boiling further eliminates toxicity. That is when my frustration started to settle in. I spent days looking for ingredients and hours cooking and I was not even half way through the process. And all of that for what?! For a “simple” 3 ingredient desert! Nonsense! I found it straight out stupid and none of my patients would go through the trouble of making it.
Day 3. Clean and core a pear. Add it to prepared Apricot kernels, combined with sugar and steam it for 2 hours.
I finished my cooking for the sole purpose of getting it done as I invested so much time and some money in it. Phew! It was ready to be served. I transferred a piece of pear with 10-15 apricot seeds to a bowl and poured sweet liquid over it and much to my surprise it was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of everything I liked about China when I lived there. This 3 ingredient healthy desert is actually amazing. I highly recommend making one yourself this Fall. Autumn Season should be about slowing down your mind. Slow cooking methods shift your mind into a meditative state making this recipe not only therapeutic for your body but also for your mind and soul.
Steamed Pear with Apricot Kernels:
1 Pear (bai li, 白梨)
1 tbsp Crystal Sugar (冰糖, bing tang)
2 tbsp peeled Nothern Apricot Kernels (bei xing ren, 北杏仁)
2 cups of water (shui, 水)
Soak Apricot Kernels over night
Boil Apricot Kernels for 4 hours in 1 cups of water
Peel, core and quarter pear
Combine Apricot Kernels in cooked liquid with pear and rock sugar, add 1 cup of water. Place pot on a peddle in the center of a larger pot filled with 3 inches of water, bring it to boil. Steam it for 2 hours, add water inside larger pot if needed.