It’s that time of the month again, it’s time for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, hosted this month by JJ from 84th & 3rd. The theme this month is ‘What’s your cup of Tea?’ and there are a wealth of wonderfully sweet options at play over at JJ’s blog. I decided to go a little bit free form for my entry this time, play around with some flavours and see where they lead me. I must say that I’m pretty happy with the result as I sit here licking the last skerricks of syrup from my empty bowl.
I first came across the idea of poaching pears in tea via Mel Haynes. She mentioned at our recent cooking class that a local chef she had been working with made a wonderfully simple dish of pears poached in Earl Grey tea. It’s been playing on my mind ever since and so I was thrilled to see I had an excuse to get cracking in the kitchen when this month’s theme was announced.
I will admit to not having always loved tea, when I was younger my Nan used to make it for me with milk and lots of sugar and I never really saw the appeal. Over the years, as my tastes have changed, I’ve come to appreciate the subtle flavour of tea and try to drink at least a couple of cups a day. I tend to favour herbal teas, fragrant and lovely, as they make a nice change to water and help keep me hydrated without the added caffeine. The tea I used for this recipe was from T2 and is called ‘French Earl Grey‘ a lovely, floral and citrus infused tea with hints of rose, peach and apricot. I decided to pair these flavours with a decadent, orange infused mascarpone whipped cream for the final twist on an altogether fancy dessert.
This is a lovely and impressive dish to serve at your next dinner party that is relatively simple to prepare in advance. I used a technique I found over at David Lebovitz’s page which kept the pears in the cooking liquid really well and popped some dried cranberries and raisins in at the last-minute to plump up. I served the pears cold with a dab of cream on the side and a drizzle of syrup over the top. They will last a couple of days in the fridge in a sealed container and would also be lovely for breakfast over oatmeal with some vanilla yogurt and flaked almonds.
So there you have it, my take on tea this month for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, I hope you like them as much as I do.
Earl Grey Poached Pears with Orange Mascarpone
Serves 4 - vego - gluten-free - inspired by recipes from David Lebovitz, Citrus and Candy & Food Network
For the Pears:
2 beurré bosc pears – peeled, halved and cored
4 cups of water
1 tspn vanilla bean paste
1 cup brown sugar
2 french earl grey tea bags
1 tspn lemon zest
1 tbspn raisins/sultanas
1 tbspn dried cranberries
1 tbspn of walnuts, roughly chopped
For the Orange Mascarpone:
1/4 cup mascarpone (at room temperature)
1/2 cup cream (suitable for whipping)
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbspns icing sugar
In a medium-large saucepan add the water, sugar, tea bags, vanilla and lemon zest. Bring to a gentle boil.
Turn off the heat, pop the lid on the saucepan and allow the mixture to steep for 5-10 minutes.
Gently add the pears to the tea mixture and poach gently for over a low-medium flame for 20-25 minutes.
NB: I placed a piece of baking paper cut to fit the saucepan to ensure the pears stayed in the liquid. For more instructions and photos, click here.
The pears are ready when they are nice and soft, test with a skewer to make sure.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so and then gently remove the pears from the liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Pour the remaining liquid through a strainer into a small saucepan and add the raisins and cranberries for a couple of minutes until they are nice and plump.
Remove the raisins and cranberries with a slotted spoon and set them aside with the pears.
To make the syrup:
Turn the heat back on to medium-high.
Reduce the remaining, strained liquid down by at least half, stirring every now and then to create a syrup.
Either serve as is with orange mascarpone (recipe below) or allow to cool and then pop in the fridge with the pears until you’re ready to eat. I stored the pears with the syrup in the same container.
Method (Orange Mascarpone):
In a mixing bowl combine the mascarpone with the orange juice and stir well until smooth.
Add the icing sugar, zest and cream and beat on high with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Use immediately or gently transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with cling wrap and pop in the fridge until ready to serve.
NB: The cream will only keep for about 24 hours.
Place one pear on each plate.
Garnish with cranberries, raisins and walnuts.
Spoon a little syrup over the top and then add a good dollop of the mascarpone on top.
Eat and enjoy!
THIS POST IS PART OF THE SWEET ADVENTURES BLOG-HOP
Thanks to JJ from 84th & 3rd for hosting this month’s festivities
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO VIEW ALL THE OTHER AMAZING RECIPES