Pears are have been widely used in many cultures around the world since ancient times. Apart from being a tasty addition to the diet, pears are also packed with many nutrients and provide medicinal benefits.
According to Pear Bureau Northwest, about 3000 known varieties of pears are grown worldwide. There are ten varieties of USA Pears, each with its own distinctive color, flavor, and texture. Second only to apples, pears signify fall for me.
This Jasmine Poached Pears recipe, which is found in the Essential Vegan Desserts course, was developed by my talented colleague, chef Chad Sarno. It makes a lovely simple dessert served as is, but a sauce or cream takes it to next level. I like to serve it with a sprinkling of candied nuts. Feel free to reduce the amount of sweetener but make sure to add back in the amount of liquid reduced. To make the recipe non-alcoholic, use 3 cups of apple or pear juice and tablespoon of rice vinegar or lemon juice.
Jasmine Poached Pears
- 4 to 5 small semi–ripe pears, cored and peeled
- 3 tablespoons dried jasmine flowers
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups muscat or reisling wine
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced down middle
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 cup agave
- pinch of sea salt
Combine the jasmine flowers with 2 1/2 cups of hot water in a heat-proof container. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and discard the flowers. Transfer the tea to the pot in which you will poach the pears.
Place the pot with the jasmine tea over medium–high heat. Add the wine, vanilla bean, star anise, agave and salt and bring to a simmer. Gently place pears into the poaching liquid and poach them for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are fork tender. Take care not to overcook them. Remove the pears from the liquid and allow them to cool.
To serve, cut each pear, lengthwise, into a few slices and fan the slices out over each plate. Serve with your favorite non–dairy vanilla ice cream and garnish with candied nuts.
Make sure the fruit used is still slightly firm, but not soft to the touch. This will allow the poaching liquid to be absorbed without losing the texture of the fruit.
Recipe reprinted with permission from the Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts course. ￼