It is supposedly summer here and stone fruits are becoming more readily available but as much as I love them, we shouldn't forget the fruit like pears, that have kept us company through winter.
Poaching pears is an easy thing to do but turns an ordinary fruit into something special. I've previously poached pears in a sugar syrup and red wine - I particularly like the colour change that happens when poaching in red wine but I realise that not everyone cooks with wine.
So I've come up with a way to get that colour change without having to use wine. I consider this an adaptation of those chamomile tea poached cherries I made last month - this time I'm using Hibiscus tea!
Hibiscus Tea Poached Pears
2 packham pears, peeled and quartered
2 cups water
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoons hibiscus tea
Make sure you use a saucepan that will snugly hold the pears.
Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan and place over a medium heat - stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add in the hibiscus tea and gently simmer for a minute before adding the pears. There should be enough liquid to cover the pears - if not add a little more until they are covered.
Place a sheet of baking paper against the surface of the water and place a light weight to gently keep the pears submerged. Simmer for about 10 - just until the pears begin to soften. Remove from the heat and allow the pears to continue cooking in the residual heat of the syrup.
I've done it this way so the hibiscus has as much time as possible to colour the fruit. For maximum colour effect store the pears in the syrup.
I think you'd have to agree that these pears could pretty much fool anyone. Apart from colouring the pears, the hibiscus tea also imparts its flavour to the syrup, hints of berry give it quite a summery feel.
I've served these pears on blue cornmeal waffles - I've also reduced the poaching liquid to create an accompanying syrup. Not a bad way to start the day!
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