My Sundays are for family. Although I live far away from my family, this is the day I have chosen to reconnect with them. I make phone calls to my mother and my sister. I spend a considerable amount of time trying to find a cozy place to settle myself while I gab. This grapefruit papaya smoothie is one of the foods I use to power my conversations.
I am a creature of habit. Staying in my comfort zone means creating routines that allow me to feel grounded even as my life changes. Talking to my mom on Sunday is one of the habits that keeps me grounded. It is a routine I have had in place for almost half of my life. No matter where I have lived, my mother knows I will call her on Sunday. It is something she has come to look forward to. On the rare Sunday that I don’t call, I feel guilty and she feels worried. So, I unless it is completely unavoidable, the Sunday call is a sacred part of my life.
The first time I saw the grapefruit papaya combination, I believe it was on a package of baby food. It was one of those things that I laughed at. But in the spirit of discovering new foods, I tried to replicate it with the grapefruit papaya smoothie. The last laugh is on me.
It is an undeniably interesting combination, I know. And it is one I never thought would work. Somehow, three years later, I am still regularly reaching for a grapefruit papaya smoothie. As much as I loathe the process of making this smoothie because I have to segment a whole grapefruit, it is worth the effort. Especially when I make it ahead and I can treat myself to a glass of chilled grapefruit papaya smoothie.
Add the grapefruit segments and papaya cube into a blender. Also, pour in any juice that might have dripped from segmenting the grapefruit. Blend the mixture until it is a smooth and creamy consistency.
Pour into a cup. Squeeze the wedge of lime on the smoothie just before drinking. The lime juice adds dimension.
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.
1CupCitron Honey TeaIf you can’t find citron honey tea, you substitute with a citrus marmalade.
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.