Chamomile Poached Pears



This recipe calls for d’anjou pears, though any firm pear will work nicely. Poaching firm pears softens them without causing them to fall apart too easily. I plan on enjoying these over my morning granola and yogurt, though I may deviate and use them to top a pound cake later in the week.

Chamomile Poached Pears

2 d’anjou pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 cups water
2 tablespoon dried chamomile blossoms (if you don’t have any on hand, a bag of sleepy-time tea would work nicely)
4 tablespoons sugar or honey

1. Boil the water, add chamomile, and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
2. Strain out the chamomile, then return the tea to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
3. Add the pears to the sweetened chamomile tea and reduce heat so the pears are barely simmering. Cook covered for about 8 minutes, until the pears are easily pierced with a fork.
4. Remove the pears from the syrup and allow to cool. If you’d like, place the syrup back on the heat and allow to reduce by half. This would be nice drizzled over the pears however you choose to serve them.

Burdock Syrup with Star Anise and Ginger

Burdock is a subtle, unusual ingredient that is often found in Asian markets where it is called gobo. I highly recommend using it the day you get it as it quickly becomes limp in the refrigerator. This is a simple recipe to facilitate a quick processing inspired by the British beverage made by Fentiman’s. Use an ounce of this syrup mixed with club soda for a dry soda or add some to prosecco or cava for a holiday cocktail. If you can’t use your burdock right away, wrap it in damp paper towels and plastic before refrigerating it.

Burdock Syrup with Star Anise and Ginger

1 burdock root, washed and cut into half inch rounds
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into half inch rounds
1-2 star anise, lightly crushed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
2. Strain and refrigerate. It should keep for a week or two.