With extra time on my hands (thanks to this relentless Boston snow), I’ve been dreaming up new recipes and other things to try in the kitchen. I can’t remember where exactly, but I’ve been seeing poached pears on a lot of menus recently. I figured it wasn’t hard to poach fruit (after all, I’ve poached chicken a million times) so I got to work this morning.
And if you haven’t heard by now (or haven’t picked up on the pink hues on Instagram), Valentines Day is this week! I decided to dye my poached pears on a whim with leftover red food coloring from red velvet cupcakes. It was the best decision ever! The shade of pink they turned was fantastic!
Ingredients (for poaching two pears)
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Bosc pears (or other hard pear, soft ones will fall apart)
Vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon (other spices of your choice)
1. Peel and cut the pears. Cut into quarters (lengthwise) and remove the middle.
2. Place water in sauce pan (I used a medium size so the pears were submerged fully, more on that later).
3. Add sugar and heat on medium-high until dissolved into water.
4. Add your spices of choice– I didn’t have vanilla beans and used vanilla extract instead, turned out great!
5. Add pears and bring to low heat. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until pears can be easily stuck with a fork.
6. Remove pears from the liquid and serve warm or cool on a plate and then refrigerate.
(Optional) Reduce the liquid by continuing to simmer on medium heat until it has been reduced in half. You can use this as a sauce if you are making dessert, pancakes, etc.
I read that in order to ensure that the pears are poached evenly and to prevent discoloration, you need to make sure they are fully submerged at all times. David Lebovitz has a great suggestion to use parchment paper as a cover. However, I only had about 3 inches of paper left and did I mention it was another blizzard outside…? I’ll have to try his trick next time.
I put the pears over some greek yogurt and granola (I used Bear Naked original, cinnamon flavor, and it went perfectly with the cinnamon in the pears). You can use these as a topper for anything– waffles, pancakes, ice cream, etc. Their vibrant pink color was perfectly complimented by an adorable mug given to me by a student last year.
Happy Valentines Day!