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Simple Poached Pears With Hibiscus & Rosemary

Simple poached pears cooked in a hibiscus rosemary orange syrup. This recipe makes an elegant dessert but also pairs well with savory foods. It’s easy to make and highly customizable.

Poaching is a moist-heat cooking method that involves cooking food submerged in liquid at a low temperature. The reason pears work so well for poaching is that they’re able to maintain their shape during the cooking process.

Several recipes cook the pears in red wine to infuse not only the flavor but also the deep purple-red hue into the pears. For this recipe, I made a hibiscus tea infused simple syrup to give it a similar deep red color without using alcohol.

Ingredients

Firm pears – Bosc works really well, but you can also use Anjou or Bartlett varieties. It’s best to use slightly underripe pears so that they can hold their shape while cooking.

Hibiscus tea – a tart, floral taste with a deep red hue similar to cranberry.

Water – to infuse the tea.

Organic cane sugar – balances out the tartness of the hibiscus and adds sweetness.

Orange peel & juice – another layer of flavor to infuse into the pears.

Fresh rosemary sprigs – the flavor pairs nicely with the orange and hibiscus and adds an earthy element.

Vanilla extract – more flavor.

How to Make Poached Pears

Add all the ingredients except the pears to a large saucepan or pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Peel the pears and cut them in half. Then scoop out the seeds but keep the stems attached. Once the liquid is boiling, gently lower the pears into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, flipping the pears over halfway through.

Remove the lid and transfer the pears to a large container. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for a few minutes to reduce the liquid. Use a sieve to pour the syrup over the pears. They can be eaten warm or cold with the reduced syrup drizzled over the top, but I recommend letting the pears bathe in the syrup for a few hours to deepen their flavor.

Use any leftover infused syrup for mocktails or cocktails.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make these simple poached pears using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No hibiscus tea? – you can use any tea you’d like or omit it if you choose to use wine or juice instead of water.
  • Instead of water – use any kind of juice or wine instead.
  • No organic cane sugar? – use any kind of sweetener you like – honey, maple syrup, etc.
  • No orange? – use water in place of the juice and lemon peel or zest.
  • No rosemary? – sub fresh thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, etc.

How to Serve Poached Pears

If you want to serve them as a dessert, you can smear thick plain yogurt or cashew cream on a plate, followed by the poached pears, a sprinkle of granola or toasted quinoa for a little crunch, and a drizzle of the reduced syrup. You can also serve them with miso caramel (yum!) or on top of oat flour waffles.

If going the savory route, cut each poached pear half into slices and add to a sandwich, salad, charcuterie board, pizza, or anywhere you want a sweet and savory flavor combination.

More Fruity Dessert Recipes

Poached Pears With Hibiscus & Rosemary

5 from 5 votes
Hibiscus poached pears on a bed of yogurt with a side of fresh rosemary.
Simple poached pears cooked in a hibiscus rosemary orange syrup. This recipe makes an elegant dessert but also pairs well with savory foods. It's easy to make and highly customizable. All substitutions/variations can be found in the notes section below.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 4 firm pears Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett
  • 3 hibiscus tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose leaf
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 orange peel strips or zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients except the pears to a large saucepan or pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Peel the pears and cut them in half. Then scoop out the seeds but keep the stems attached. Once the liquid is boiling, gently lower the pears into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, flipping the pears over halfway through. 
  • Remove the lid and transfer the pears to a large container. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for a few minutes to reduce the liquid. Use a sieve to pour the syrup over the pears. They can be eaten warm or cold with the reduced syrup drizzled over the top, but I recommend letting the pears bathe in the syrup for a few hours to deepen their flavor.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:
No hibiscus tea? – you can use any tea you’d like or omit it if you choose to use wine or juice instead of water.
Instead of water – use any kind of juice or wine instead.
No organic cane sugar? – use any kind of sweetener you like – honey, maple syrup, etc.
No orange? – use water in place of the juice and lemon peel or zest.
No rosemary? – sub fresh thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, etc.
5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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