French Earl Grey Poached Pears

May 3, 2011

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I’m such a sucker for impulsive purchases. Story of my life really; a handful of unworn dresses many with the tags still intact, shoes that have pounded the pavement just once, neglected bags crumpled at the back of my cupboard including, horribly enough, a beloved designer number that hasn’t been out of its dustbag more than twice. Oh and fruits. You guys are going to lynch me for this but I’m just prone to buying bargain priced produce on a whim only to forget about them. That is, until I have to throw their mouldy asses into the trash. It’s a crazy bad habit and I need to be punished for it severely. I’m getting better now I promise you.

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But there was no way i could forget about these babies. A quick race through my grocer was halted by the $2 shelf and lo and behold! A giant bag of the most teeny tiny, miniature paradise pears that I’ve ever seen; small enough to fit on a teaspoon, teensy cores and so freaking adorable. Have you ever seen a girl squeal at pears at your local supermarket? Well the good people of ‘The Wood’ sure have now!

I knew I wanted to poach some of them but I was so over wine/honey/spiced pears. This is a brilliant alternative and perfect for those of you who are less enthused about wine or alcohol based desserts. The pears were poached in a basic sweet tea with only a hint of vanilla to round off any bitterness from the strong brew. The result was the most beautiful ambrosial flavour; heady but ‘clean’, deliciously fragrant and floral and it really allowed the pear to shine.

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My favourite to use is T2′s French Earl Grey, an awesome blend of bergamot, peach, citrus, apricot, rose, sunflower and hibiscus. In other words, AMAZING. I mean you should really smell this stuff. But feel free to substitute with any of your favourite teas. Think plain ol’ bergamot, jasmine or oolong to name a few but on one condition. It has to be ‘pretty’ and fragrant. I demand fragrance!

From there, how you choose to demolish these pears is up to you. I like the quick approach with maximum gratification – dipped in melted Callebaut chocolate and topped with crunchy chocolate granola and a dash of cream. But if an ever quicker fix is all you need, I highly recommend a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with the pears finished off with a dash of the poaching syrup for good measure.

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French Earl Grey Poached Pears


(Printable recipe)


Ingredients

1L water
125g caster sugar
20g tea leaves (I used T2 French Earl Grey)
1 strip of lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
20-25 small Paradise Pears (or however many you can fit in your pot in a single layer)

Method

Combine the water, sugar, tea leaves, lemon peel and vanilla extract in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes to infuse.

In the meantime, peel your paradise pears but leave the stalks intact. If your pears were miniature like mine then best to leave it whole unless you have a teeny tiny corer.

Strain the tea mixture into another small pot then lower the pears into the poaching liquid, stalks pointing up. Make sure that they’re all in a single layer and are fully submerged up to the stalk in the liquid. Bring back to a boil then reduce the heat again and simmer pears gently for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of your Paradise Pears).

Pears are ready when a skewer pierces through the soft pear flesh easily (remember to skewer from the bottom).

Remove from heat and leave the pears to cool down in the syrup (note the longer you soak the pears, the darker the colour). Turn pears occasionally so it’ll colour evenly. Once cooled, you can store in the fridge.

Serve cool with ice cream, granola, oats, dipped in chocolate, however you like! If you wish, you boil up the remaining poaching liquid (remember to strain it first) until reduced and slightly syrupy.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah @ People, Places & Plates August 20, 2014 at 05:53

Going to try this tonight, except with liqorice tea cause Im all out of earl gray!
Sarah @ People, Places & Plates recently posted..How to Blanch Garden Greens

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Nicola March 10, 2013 at 08:45

Thanks you so much for this recipe. Tried it last night and it was gorgeous!!

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Toria in Adelaide March 20, 2012 at 23:41

Ooh, I was looking for a unique way to poach pears and this is it! It sounds beautifully refreshing and fragrant, I’m going to try it this weekend.

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Susan May 10, 2011 at 08:12

I have never seen pears that tiny ever! I am bad with fruit too, I buy it trying to be healthy and then I just forget about it.
Susan recently posted..Osso Bucco

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thelittleloaf May 9, 2011 at 01:05

Wht an utterly beautiful dish! I’m always picking up random ingredients on a whim – it can be so much more fun to pick the ingredients that look nice and then come up with the recipe. Wonderful and light too, although I would also be tempted to smother them in chocolate!

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:26

I agree! Sometimes when inspiration is lacking, it helps to just buy a random ingredient to get the ideas churning :)

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Janine May 8, 2011 at 00:10

OHMY I’ve never seen such tiny pears before but they look OH SO LOVELY!!!

And I lol-ed when I saw your first paragraph – you totally described me too! I still have a number of dresses in my wardrobe which still have their tags on, despite having been there for more than a year, and boy do I get crazy at “bargains”, only to forget about them shortly!

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:27

Hehehe I feel a whole lot better knowing that heaps of people have the same bad habits ;)

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Sara @ Belly Rumbles May 7, 2011 at 21:57

They are just so adorable! You are not alone in making purchases of bargain priced produce only for it to head to the bin on chuck out night.
Sara @ Belly Rumbles recently posted..Tapas Train @ Sushi Choo

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:29

Yup it’s a bad habit we all need to change hehe am I right? :)

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pickyin @ LifeIsGreat May 5, 2011 at 16:41

I’d have this with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream please. The miniature approach is adorable.
pickyin @ LifeIsGreat recently posted..Tomato and Marjoram Roast Chicken

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:30

Who would’ve thought fruits could be so adorable? :)

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chopinandmysaucepan May 5, 2011 at 09:31

Great looking pears! I was looking for the type of alcohol or wine that you used :( tho this sounds like a great recipe!
chopinandmysaucepan recently posted..Chinese twice-cooked duck with orange

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:34

Hi there, if you’re wondering what alcohol to use, I think a slightly sweet and fruity red wine or a sweet white would be perfect! However if you need something a little more robust and hearty, then a nice deep red that’s strong on berry flavour and/or spices would be a great choice! Hope this helps :)

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen May 5, 2011 at 01:52

This looks fabulous! I don’t like Earl grey and I still buy it. And then I take it to work for colleagues to use it. I’m crazy!

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:34

I don’t blame you! I don’t drink earl grey too but I can’t help but be smitten with the perfumed, almost floral smell. Which is why I love to bake with it :)

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mademoiselle délicieuse May 4, 2011 at 22:15

It helps that I love Earl Grey tea to start with, but T2′s French Earl Grey is definitely something special with its heady fragrance!
mademoiselle délicieuse recently posted..The quest for scones

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:35

I was head over heels in love the first time I smelt it. It’s truly amazing :)

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Mei Sze May 4, 2011 at 12:47

Ello ello,

I’m also super guilty of such habits! hehehehe…especially can’t resist a good bargain with fruits only to leave it unattended in the fridge (again…hehehehe)…But guess what!! I have a pack of paradise pears in my fridge too! I really adore them..the last time I wanted to turn them into dessert, I ended up eating the lot fresh! They are so fragrant!!! YUM!!..And yes…floral, fragran tea is a MUST! Long Live Earl Grey! :P

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:36

Amen to Paradise Pears! Definitely my favourite to bake and eat!

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penny aka jeroxie May 4, 2011 at 07:03

Oh Gosh… these pears are super cute! Wonder if they have similar ones in melb?

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Citrus and Candy May 10, 2011 at 01:36

I’m sure they’ll be around but this was def the first time I seen them so small in Sydney :)

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Maggie@BritishBaking May 4, 2011 at 02:32

Those miniature pears!!! I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it before! I’d totally be squealing too!

I don’t mind being called hasty – poached with ice cream sounded good enough to me! :)
Maggie@BritishBaking recently posted..Herbed Cabbage

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chocolatesuze May 4, 2011 at 00:10

EEEEEEE! those pears so teensy tiny! EEEEE sooooo cute omgomgomg *dances on the spot*

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Citrus and Candy May 4, 2011 at 02:48

I know right?! Like super teeeeeeeeeeeeeeny. SQUEEEEE!! :D

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Sticky Penguin May 3, 2011 at 21:12

Those little pears are definitely squeal-worthy! I’ve been keen to start trying some more poached fruit – it seems perfect for the autumn weather – but was also a little worn out by all the wine and spice versions (and they have heaprs of sugar in so many of them (and I’m all for indulgence, but sometimes just a little bit of fresh, juicy fruit is so good without much else). So I’ll be trying these out pretty soon, I suspect – and perhaps with some chocolate tea I brough back from France last year. And thanks for the reminder to go and do something productive with the quince lurking in my fruit bowl, too!
Sticky Penguin recently posted..A Slight Misunderstanding

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Citrus and Candy May 4, 2011 at 02:50

Hi Sticky Penguin, I couldn’t agree more with the excessive sugar in poached pears. I definitely prefer NOT to cook my fruit in syrup hehe. But oh! Chocolate tea?! I’m intrigued! Let me know how it turns out :D

And oooh quinces! I def need to get some asap. Once I finish off the remaining pears of course hehe.

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Sam@Cooks Larder May 3, 2011 at 17:12

So so pretty! I use tea for fruit cakes but never thought to use for poached pears. Thanks! Try using Mariage Freres Earl Grey – it is better than any I have ever tried for drinking and cooking! It is also more expensive of course!!
Sam@Cooks Larder recently posted..Micro Holiday Part 1- Roadside Mushroom Risotto

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 18:32

Thanks so much for the tip Sam! I’m always on the lookout for different brands of earl greys.

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angie May 3, 2011 at 14:51

I love paradise pears! Love them too much that I eat them before they even get a chance to become anything beautiful like this =)
angie recently posted..Melting Moments with Rhubarb Jam Custard

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:13

Ahh see I’m the other way round. Which is why I have to remember to cook them first otherwise they’d go to waste hehe :P

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Phuoc'n Delicious May 3, 2011 at 14:12

*hi5* to impulse purchases! These look bloody adorable, I’ve only heard of them yesterday and now seen them cooked today! Love it! I LOVE the overhead shot of the poached pears and granola.

Pears dipped in chocolate? Why haven’t I thought of that before?! Nice work Karen!

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:12

Thanks so much sweets! These are my favourite pears, you should definitely try them out x

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Lisa May 3, 2011 at 14:12

Oh boy, oh boy! This is right up my alley – pears, french earl grey, chocolate, GRANOLA! Yum! I will definitely try this recipe :)

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:12

Lol everytime I use French Earl Grey, I always think of you. This definitely has your name all over it! xx

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Steph May 3, 2011 at 14:11

Ahhhh those tiny pears are so darling!! I just want to bite into those chocolate dipped ones especially. Love Earl Grey.
Steph recently posted..Rhubarb Fool &amp Orange Granita

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Citrus and Candy May 4, 2011 at 02:51

Hey Steph, these pears only needed two bites lol! So precious they were!

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Martyna (Wholesome Cook) May 3, 2011 at 11:50

Oh my gosh! I just bought some pears today to poach and dunk in chocolate! I never thought of using tea… Definitely going to try this!
Martyna (Wholesome Cook) recently posted..Pork belly and pistachio terrine- beetroot relish

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:10

Great minds think alike ;)

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shirley@kokken69 May 3, 2011 at 10:38

Aren’t we all guilty of the same bad habits! I have already lost count of interesting food and ingredients I have acquired from my travels, forgotten and eventually thrown into the garbage bin. These pears are adorable and guess what! You’ve just reminded me that I have a can of miniature pears stashed somewhere in my pantry :)
shirley@kokken69 recently posted..Blood Orange Chiffon Cake With Blood Orange Jelly

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:09

Hi Shirley. Oh the guilt is even worse when it’s foods that you brought back from holidays isn’t it?

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john@heneedsfood May 3, 2011 at 08:13

$2! How could you not! Great flavours.

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:06

Exactly! And they were too adorable to pass up :D

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Ashlae May 3, 2011 at 08:01

Well, you’ll be happy to know that you’re not the only one. I just went through my closet and found many unworn garments; garments that I don’t even like anymore. And just yesterday I had to throw out an enormous bag of yukon gold potatoes, as well as a bag of grapefruit. It is a sad, sad thing. I, too, am getting better.

Those pears are ADORABLE! I wish I could find some in the States.
Ashlae recently posted..Baking bits colorful stand mixers

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:05

Isn’t it terrible and the guilty feeling is the worse! Btw if paradise pears aren’t available then any pears would still be brilliant in this :)

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Laura May 3, 2011 at 07:42

wow! I love the sound of this. I also love T2′s french earl grey, so special.
Laura recently posted..Best spaghetti &amp meatballs

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:02

I didn’t even like earl grey but as soon as I smelt it, I had to buy it. Isn’t it the most gorgeous tea?

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Tammi May 3, 2011 at 06:32

Ooh they are SO CUTE!!! I keep wondering what they taste like. Looks like I just have to try this recipe!
Tammi recently posted..Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Citrus and Candy May 3, 2011 at 15:03

Hehehe I know *squeal*. Hope you enjoy it! I have a feeling that this might be my favourite way to poach pears :)

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