French Poached Pears
As the name suggests, poached pears are simply pears that have been cooked in liquid. They are a wonderful treat and can be prepared in many different ways. Here is a basic recipe for poached pears using water and sugar and a few simple steps.
Poaching pears is easy!
When you are ready to serve the pears, slice them half lengthwise so that the stem and blossom ends are still attached. Use a spoon to scoop out the core of each pear half. You can also use a melon baller or small teaspoon if you prefer. You can leave the stems on if you like, but they do not soften as much as the pear flesh during poaching, and some people may find them too hard to eat.
Place them into the simmering poaching liquid once your pears are peeled, cored, and halved. Add more hot water if necessary to cover the tops of the pear halves by at least one inch (two centimeters). Simmer uncovered until the cores are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes for ripe pears and 20 minutes for firmer ones. If your pears are not mature enough to eat raw, you may need to ripe them.
Where did poached pears originate from?
Poached pears are not as old as you might think, not in the Western world. They have been around for a few hundred years, and there is debate about whether they originated in Italy or France. For sure, poached pears were served at the coronation of King Charles VII of France in the 15th century.
Poached pears are typically served with a sauce and garnish. This can be reduced by poaching liquid in its most basic form, but fancier sauces include caramel, chocolate, or vanilla bean. The garnish can be anything from whipped cream to chopped nuts to ice cream.
Poached pears were initially prepared with red wine and spices, but they are now often made with white wine and honey or sugar.
Do you peel pears before poaching?
Not many people think about this, but the shape of your fruit can affect how well it poaches. Pear shapes are lovely because they don't have much surface area, so they cook quickly and evenly in the poaching liquid.
Apples and pears tend to darken when exposed to air, so you don't want to peel them until just before poaching. Lemon juice or ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) can help prevent this discoloration.
The easiest way to peel a pear is with a vegetable peeler. Then cut it in half lengthwise with a paring knife. Pears usually have a large core, so you'll need to scoop that out with a melon baller.
What are the best pears to poach?
The best pears for poaching are firm varieties that hold their shape and texture in a hot liquid. The Bartlett pear is one of the most common pears, and it's perfect for poaching because it has a milder flavor than other varieties, so it takes on different flavors well. For example, if you're poaching pears in red wine syrup, the Bartlett pear won't overpower the wine with its taste.
Anjou and Bosc pears are also good choices because they're naturally sweet.
How long can you keep poached pears?
The length of time you can store poached pears depends on your method of storing them. Unpeeled fresh pears stored at room temperature can keep up to two weeks. If you want to preserve them longer, you can keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. Pears peeled, and cut can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for up to six months.
If you are storing whole poached pears, leave their peels on and place them in a shallow dish covered with wax paper or plastic wrap. Store them on the counter away from heat and direct sunlight. If your kitchen is hot, store the pears in the refrigerator. They will keep for two weeks this way, although they will lose color and start to dehydrate after a few days.
You can also store cut-poached pears in the refrigerator. When preparing the pears, peel them slice them half lengthwise and remove their cores with a melon baller or spoon. Place the halves cut-side down in storage containers with lids and cover them with poaching liquid; make sure there is enough liquid to cover them completely, as air exposure will cause discoloration and spoilage. Seal the containers tightly and refrigerate them for an extended period.
Can you use unripe pears for poaching?
It is possible to poach unripe pears, but they must be cooked longer. Pear varieties that are good for poaching are Bosc and Anjou.
Most of the time, you want to poach a pair because it is not yet ripe enough to eat. If you're going to eat the pears without cooking them first, you need to find a good pear variety for poaching. This does not mean that the pear will be very ripe when you buy it most of the time. You may have to pick one that is a little bit under-ripe and then let it ripen at your house.
How do you core a pear for poaching?
The best way to core a pear is to cut it in half and use a melon baller or a measuring spoon. A melon baller is the most accessible tool, as it is designed like an apple corer.
To use a melon baller, insert it into the center of the pear until you hit the seed pocket. Then drag the spoon along the interior until you pierce through the skin on the other side.
To use a measuring spoon:
Place a small measuring teaspoon upside down over the center of one pear half, where the stem was removed.
Press gently with your forefinger while turning the spoon counterclockwise to remove a deep cone of flesh containing the seeds and some surrounding pulp.
Discard seeds and pulp.
Do you need to core pears before poaching?
Many people don't like the taste of raw pears, but I love them. They are a great snack, especially if you get some that are super ripe and juicy.
Some people may not care for the texture, but I think it is excellent. A too-firm pear can be hard to eat and not very enjoyable. You can tell when one is ripe by looking at the fruit's stem end; if it has a bit of give when pressed gently with your thumb, it's good to go. However, if you want softer pears, then poached ones might be what you're looking for (and there's also baking).
Do you need to core pears before poaching? Yes! Cored pears will keep their shape better during cooking than uncored ones do. Plus, if you don't core them first, all those seeds will turn into tiny black specks floating around in your syrup – not very tasty!
Will poached pears turn brown?
Poached pears are delicious but don't look good for long. When you've finished cooking and plating them, they're often brown in spots. If you want to preserve their fresh appearance — especially if you're going to serve them at a dinner party — it is to treat them with something that prevents browning. There are several possible solutions:
One option is to use a commercial anti-browning solution that contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid. If your local grocery store doesn't carry it, you can buy it online — search the Internet for "fruit preservative."
Another option is to use fresh lemon juice. Squeeze one or two lemons into a large bowl and add water so that the mixture adds up to about a cup of liquid. Stir thoroughly and dip the pears into the mix as soon as they come out of the poaching liquid.
Finally, a common myth says pears won't turn brown if you poach them in red wine instead of white wine or water. There's no scientific basis for this, but many cooks find it works well enough to don't care why.
What are some of the benefits of poaching fruit?
Poaching fruit is a great way to make dessert healthier and more enjoyable by infusing it with additional flavor. But there's a lot more to poaching fruit than just pouring it into a pot of water and hoping for the best. Luckily, the process is quite simple — even if you've never done it before, you'll be able to create a tasty treat in no time.
What is Poached Fruit?
Poached fruit is any fruit that has been cooked in liquid (usually flavored) until soft and tender. Unlike other cooking methods, poaching doesn't require much prep work, making it perfect for fruits with tender flesh (like berries) or fruits that don't hold up well to heat (like apricots).
The Benefits of Poached Fruit
Poaching is one of the healthiest ways to cook the fruit. Since it doesn't use oil or butter, it's lower in fat than most cooking methods. It also helps retain many of the vitamins and antioxidants in the fruit since it doesn't get exposed to high temperatures for very long. Reducing sugar that often comes along with poaching can also help reduce calories slightly.
Depending on the type of fruit, poaching can bring out a depth of flavor that wouldn't be obvious in other cooking methods.
For some fruits, poaching is a way to soften them up for dishes where they would otherwise add little or no textural value. Pears are often poached so that they become soft enough to be pureed into a sauce or blended into a soup. Figs can be poached to soften them up for use in baking.
Poaching is also a way to reduce the acidity of some fruits, like cranberries and rhubarb. Some people find these fruits too sour to enjoy raw, but when they are poached, the flavors mellow out and become more palatable.
Can you freeze pears in red wine?
I am not sure what you have in mind, but I will describe two different ways to freeze pears.
-you need firm, ripe pears, a saucepan, and some red wine.
-peel the pears and cut them into slices or chunks.
-put them in the saucepan, add enough wine to cover them, and simmer gently until they are tender. You don't want to cook them too much, so they are mushy when thawed.
-cool the pears in their cooking liquor, and then pack them into labeled freezer bags or rigid containers. Freezing tip: press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag or container. Your freezer should be set no higher than -18°C/0°F.
-rinse, peel and core the pears, then cut into slices or chunks.
-pack into rigid containers with 1 part pear juice to 4 parts red wine. Ensure that the liquid covers the fruit thoroughly, then put on a lid and freeze. For this recipe, do not use plastic bags because the fluid may expand during freezing and split them.
How do you keep poached pears from turning brown?
Poached pears are delicious. They can be a dessert all by themselves, or they can be fanned out on top of a piece of cake, or they can be used as a garnish on a plate full of fruit and cheese. There are many ways to enjoy poached pears, but one problem keeps coming up: How do you stay poached pears from turning brown?
Luckily, the solution is simple. You need to add some lemon juice to the poaching liquid.
One thing to be aware of is that poaching liquids usually call for sugar, which is acidic. This might sound like it would prevent browning, but only a minimal amount of sugar will dissolve into the poaching liquid before it comes to a boil. You still need to add more lemon juice if you want your pears to stay white.
What can you do with overripe pears?
There are many ways to use overripe pears. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that work well with overripe pears.
Pears poached in red wine: Poach pears in red wine and sugar. This can be done on the stovetop or in the oven.
Pear pies: Add sliced pears to your favorite pie recipe for a delicious twist on an old favorite. Add pears to your favorite salad: Pears taste great with greens, nuts, and gorgonzola cheese. This is a great way to use up those overripe pears with or without dressing!
What do you like to do with overripe bananas? Let us know in the comments below!