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Verbena Poached Pears

We are using pears plucked from the tree in my front yard, a sprig of lemon verbena from the garden and fresh local raspberries for this fruity dessert recipe.

Verbena Poached Pears

Photo: Jessie Wallner/WFIU

I like to garnish my dishes with ingredients used in the preparation. Here, the poached pear is served with a sprig of lemon verbena.

Dessert Comes From The Garden

The first thing we have to do for this recipe is go out in the garden and shake the pear tree. Miss Wren, who has been co-existing with us all season, doesn’t enjoy the shaky disruption, so she flies away for the time being.

If you don’t have a pear tree in your front yard, use Bosc or Anjou pears. They are crispy enough to stand up to the poaching procedure without becoming mushy.

Enjoy these poached pears any number of ways, by stuffing them with goat cheese or granola or serving over a pork chop. Today, we’ve made a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh local black berries. Spoon some of the syrup over top and garnish with a sprig of lemon verbena.

Verbena Poached Pears With Blackberries

Serving Size: Serves 4 folks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 bunches fresh lemon verbena
  • 3 peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • 4 firm Bosc or Anjou pears
  • 1/2 pint blackberries
  • lemon verbena or mint sprigs for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Place 3 cups water and the honey in medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir well to incorporate the honey, which will sink to the bottom.
  2. Add vanilla bean, verbena, pepper and lemon and allow to steep, barely simmering, for 30 minutes.
  3. Peel the pears. With a melon baller core the pears from the bottom, leaving the stems intact. Place them in the poaching liquid and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach until the pears are tender, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the type and size of the pears.
  4. Allow the pears to cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid, then place in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. To serve, place each pear in a small dish, surround with blackberries, and garnish with a sprig of verbena.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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