To Poach A Pear

Sliced Citron Honey Tea Poached Pear with Toasted Pound Cake and orange served with yogurt on a white plate
Sliced Citron Honey Tea Poached Pear with Toasted Pound Cake and orange served with yogurt on a white plate

Poaching is one of those things that seems to put fear in the heart of many. Maybe because it sounds so fancy. Who hasn’t had anxiety about poaching an egg? Or maybe a pear? Citron Honey Tea Poached pear is one of those things that I find to be delightful in the winter.

Poaching is one of my favorite cooking techniques. It requires patience because it is not the quickest option. However, poaching is an act of gentle love because it allows flavor to be impacted while maintaining the softness of the food. When a pear is well poached, it does not fall apart. Instead, it maintains its integrity while absorbing the flavor it has been bathed in. This citron honey tea poached pea definitely captures flavor well.

When I was thinking of poaching pears this winter, I really wanted to tap into unconventional flavors like citron. Citron, also known as Buddha’s hand, is one the most mysterious fruits. It is a citrus with a juice flesh. The Buddha’s hand despite is lack of juice is one of the most perfumed fruits or flowers I have encountered. The smell on this fruit is divine. The citron is best used to infuse food.

One of the first way I ever tasted citron was via the citron honey tea that I buy from the Asian food market in a massive jar. I love the citron honey tea because I can drink it on its own merit. Or, I can also use it make other types of tea. Since citron has not juice, it lacks the sour edge of a citrus. This means when I use it in tea recipes, it mostly adds an olfactory experience to the tea drinking.

Poaching the pear in a bath of citron honey tea was like capturing winter on a plate. I loved it. Especially since I served it with a toasted slice of a pound cake I made using King Arthur Flour recipe. I added in some orange oil and zest into that recipe to add another dimension. I often toast my pound cake on the stove to give it a crunch. The plate is rounded out with a dollop of unsweetened whole milk greek yogurt. I almost feel like I could have this citron honey tea poached pear plate for breakfast.

Care to join me?

Toasted Pound cake with a wedge of orange

Citron Honey Tea Poached Pear

D’Andjou Pears are poached in a bath of citron honey tea to capture some of the citrus scent of winter in this easy recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Buddha’s Hand, Citron Honey Tea, Citrus, Pear, Poached Pear
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Pears I used D’Anjou Pears
  • 1 Cup Citron Honey Tea If you can’t find citron honey tea, you substitute with a citrus marmalade.
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar optional
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Orange Sliced

Instructions

  • Fit your unpeeled pear into a smaller sized pot to test which would hold the pears snuggly and allow the fluid to cover the pears mostly.
  • Peel and core the pears. If you prefer, you can also cut the pears into half lengthwise.
  • Once you have found a good sized pot, add the citron honey tea, cinnamon, orange slices, and water. If you are using the sugar, add it in now. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until honey and sugar dissolve.
  • My trick for getting the poaching bath to the right temperature is turn off the heat. Once it cools a bit, I put on the heat back on to a “barely there” level, then add in the pears. You don’t want to see any signs of boiling or simmering. It should be a very gentle heating process.
  • After 15 minutes, start checking at regular intervals is the pears are soft yet. The pears are ready if a clean toothpick inserted goes in without pressure.  
  • Retrieve the pears from the poaching bath. 
  • This step is optional: Strain out the poaching fluid and put it back on the heat. Reduce the poaching tea until it coats the back of a spoon. This citron honey syrup can be used to serve the poached pears or even to sweeten beverages and oats.

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