Red Tea Poached Pears
I doubt there is anything more elegant than a poached pear. I just love them because, well, most fruit-based desserts are more everything else other than fruit, such as pies or cobbler (not that I don't indulge in all that butter and sugar). But poached pears are about pears, plain and simple. I poached these in red tea only because I wanted to use something other than wine. The mulled rooibos tea worked out perfectly! Spicy, rich and full of flavor... the syrup is divine; tasty on pears and your lover!
Warm 6 cups of water in a saucepan over a medium-high heat.
When bubbles have formed in the pan but before it begins to boil, add in the red rooibos tea.Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the tea using a sieve and add it back to the saucepan.This works for regular tea making too; it's better with water that hasn't boiled.
Add 1/2 cup sugar, 20 pink peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 vanilla bean (halved & scraped), 1 star anise, 1 bay leaf, 2 orange slices (I cut mine in half), 1 lemon peel, 2 cloves, and 3 allspice berries to the tea. I f*cking love how that looks. After taking this photo, I just stared at it for about 5 minutes. I wanted to dive in!
Peel the pears, trimming the bottoms so they stand upright. Then place them in the saucepan. If you're peeling many pears at once, immerse them in a large bowl of cold water with lemon juice. The acidulated water will keep the pears from discoloring until they are ready to be poached. Um, my word editor keeps wanting to replaced acidulated with ejaculated! WTF.
Set saucepan over a high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, occasionally stirring. Cook until a pairing knife easily pierces pears, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let the pears chill in the liquid. NOTE: Use perfectly ripe pears for any poached pear recipe; if they're overripe, they will be too soggy, and if they're underripe, they won't poach well. Bosc pears, which hold their shape well, have a sweet, tart flavor, but you can also use Anjou or Bartlett pears.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate. Then store pears in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Pour poaching liquid through a sieve set over a bowl. Compost solids, and return liquid to saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, and cook until liquid has been reduced to a syrup that coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 45 minutes. Let cool.
When ready to serve, arrange pears on a platter or on individual plates, and drizzle poaching liquid over them.
Enjoy these fuckers, I know I did.
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Jerry James Stone
Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say ‘hella’ too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.
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