Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hibiscus Poached Pears with Juniper Berry Sauce

I was watching the Food Network this week and one of Alton Brown's recipes caught my eye. Poached pears. As I am never one to do things the easy way, I switched this up a bit.

I love the way they look poached in red wine, but didn't have any. What I did have was Hibiscus tea. I bought this bag of powdered drink mix from the Redner's Market once on a whim and have been buying it regularly ever since. It's a sweet tea drink with a brilliant color and floral flavor.

Hibiscus Poached Pears
inspired by Alton Brown

Cold Hibiscus tea, about 4 cups
4 firm pears
4 tbsp Juniper Berry Balsamic
1/2 cup coconut cream for serving

I like to cut my pears for poaching. It still looks pretty and takes a bit less time than when they are whole. So I cut them into quarters and removed the core. Pour the tea into a large saucepan and submerge the pears. Bring to a boil, making sure the pears are fully submerged, or they won't take the color as evenly.

Cook at a simmer for 30 minutes. They should be soft, but not falling apart. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside. I like to serve them warm, so I put them in an oven safe dish and turn it on to warm until the sauce is ready.

Add the Juniper Berry Balsamic and bring to a boil. Reduce liquid until it becomes half of its original volume. This takes 20-30mins. If you would like a thicker sauce, go ahead and keep boiling. Be careful not to let it burn.

My favorite way to serve this is in martini glasses. I ladle in some pear slices, top it with some of the reduced sauce and then a drizzle of the coconut cream. You could also use whipped cream if you like or even mascarpone cheese.

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