Dietitian’s Corner – Hibiscus Poached Pears

Hibiscus Poached PearsAre you hosting a dinner this holiday season? Are you looking for a special dessert to *WOW* your guests – that won’t have you spending most of the pre-holiday season in the kitchen?? Well, do we have the recipe for you, and it’s a showstopper! And it`s as simple as can be while being gluten-free, and a lighter choice at the end of a big meal. Hibiscus tea bags can be found at most grocery or bulk food stores.

10 cup water, divided

1/2 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 hibiscus tea bags

5 black peppercorns

1 (4-in.) piece cinnamon stick

1 (4-in.) piece orange rind

8 medium Bosc pears

1/2 cup crème fraîche

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add honey and salt, stirring until honey dissolves. Remove pan from heat; add tea bags, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and orange rind. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags, and discard.

Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Add pears to pan. Add 1 to 2 cups remaining water to just cover pears. Cut a large piece of parchment paper into a 10-inch circle. Place parchment circle on top of pears; top with an upturned plate to submerge pears. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 1 hour or until pears are tender. Remove pears from pan with a slotted spoon.

Strain poaching liquid over a bowl, reserving 2 cups poaching liquid (reserve remaining liquid for another use). Bring 2 cups poaching liquid to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high; cook 20 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup syrup. Combine crème fraîche and vanilla in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Serve pears with syrup and crème fraîche mixture.