The sweet, floral-citrus flavor of lavender pairs well with ginger’s spicy notes to create an appetizingly fragrant poaching sauce for pears. Though any species will suffice in a pinch, English lavender (L.angustifolia) possesses the best culinary flavor.
- 4 firm, ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett
- 1 cup late-harvest white Riesling
- 1 cup white grape juice
- ¼ cup honey
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1- to 2-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 lavender sprigs for garnish
- Peel the pears and trim the base slightly so each pear stands upright. Core each pear using an apple corer, or cut the core out of the base with a small thin-bladed knife. Be sure to leave stems intact.
- Combine the Riesling, white grape juice, honey, orange juice and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add lavender flowers, then add pears so they are standing upright. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 20 minutes until pears are just tender. Don’t overcook, or pears will turn mushy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the poached pears to a bowl.
- Bring the poaching liquid back to a boil and cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 15 minutes). Strain liquid through a sieve over a bowl, discarding solids. Pour syrup over pears, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled.
- To serve, place pears in individual bowls and spoon
cup syrup over each pear. Garnish each with a lavender sprig.
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Cooking with Lavender.