MY TURN! I am making pear custard pie (http://ww2.kqed.org/bayareabites...) and have run into the following tip:
To poach the pears, cut a circle of parchment paper that will fit in a medium saucepan. Cut a small circle in the middle of the parchment. In the saucepan, bring 3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) water and the sugar to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pears and orange peel. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the back of a paring knife; add the pod and seeds to the saucepan. Lay the parchment in the saucepan to submerge the pears.
What's up with this? How does the parchment really keep the pears submerged?