Hojicha Tea Poached Pear
With fresh juicy pears in season right now it is hard to pass up the opportunity to make the classic poached pear dessert with tea. For this recipe we used the green tea Hojicha from Japan to infuse the poaching liquid. The Hojicha adds a beautiful nuttiness and depth to dish. You can feel free to try this dish with any of your favorite teas.
A few items to consider before taking on this dish. It does take time to poach pears and make the syrup and allow them to cool, roughly two and half hours, so making this while preparing dinner is not really an option. The pears keep well in the refrigerator, so you can definitely make them in advance, even the day before. When buying pears, you are looking for pears with stems to make it easy for you to move them in and out of the water. If that is not possible, you can quarter the pears and use a slotted spoon instead of serving whole. Ideally you would use ripe pears, where if you press along the neck of the pear it gives under pressure. If you cannot find them, don’t worry, you will need to poach longer in the liquid.
Tea Poached Pears – Equipment
6 cup pan with lid
Grapefruit spoon or corer
Tongs or slotted spoon
Container to hold the pears in the refrigerator
Kettle to heat water
Pyrex or pitcher/teapot to brew tea in
Tea Poached Pears – Ingredients
6 Pears with stems
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of Hojicha tea
1 cup of sugar
Tea Poached Pears – Steps
- Peel and core the pears. Start by coring the pears from the bottom so as to keep the stem in place. Using a grapefruit spoon or corer, work around the notch at the bottom into the pear with the goal of removing the seeds and hard center. It will create a hole in the pear, which helps to speed along the poaching. After coring, peel the skin off the pears and place into your pan.
- Heat up 4 cups of water to 185°F and put in the tea. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain out the loose leaf tea and pour the remaining liquid into the pot with the pears.
- Turn on the burner to about medium. The tea is already hot, so you can pour in the sugar while it comes up to a simmer.
- Allow the pears to simmer in the tea for at least 20 minutes, but more likely 40 minutes if the pears are not fully ripe. You can use your knife to test if they are done. The knife should insert very easily.
- Remove the pears from the liquid using tongs by lifting them out by the stem and put in the refrigerator to cool. Leave the sauce in the pan and turn the burner up to high to get the sauce to a rolling boiling. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until it reduces to a syrup that coats the back of your spoon when you lift it out. This will take around 30-minutes so be patient and stir periodically to check. Remove from heat and store in the refrigerator.
- Poached pears are traditionally served cold on a plate by placing the full pear in the center, drizzling on the syrup, and allowing guests to add whipped cream if want it.
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Irish Breakfast raspberry muffins are easy to make and a fun change to the usual morning meal. We used raspberries in this recipe because we happen to have a lot in the house currently, but you can incorporate any summer fruit or berry, just cut it into small pieces.
Irish Breakfast Raspberry Muffins – Ingredients
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons of Irish Breakfast tea
2 cups of Whole Wheat Baking Flour or All Purpose Flour
1 cup of Old Fashion Rolled Oats (No instant Oatmeal, it will not set up correctly)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of raspberries cut in half
2 eggs 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of agave nectar
Irish Breakfast Raspberry Muffins – Steps
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners or spray with oil so you can easily remove the muffins after baking.
- Put the milk in a pan on the stove top with the tea and bring the milk up to just a simmer. You are looking for steam and small bubbles around the edges. Stir the tea leaves into the milk and periodically stir to make sure the milk does not burn to the bottom of the pan. This will only take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the milk from the heat and allow to sit with the tea still in it for at least 10 minutes.
- While the tea is steeping, mix together in a bowl the flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Cut the raspberries in half and mix them into the dry ingredients. You want them coated in flour. Do not skip cutting down whatever fruit you chose to use, if the fruit pieces are bigger than 1/3 of an inch you will likely have problems with big holes and your muffins falling apart as the fruit shrinks in cooking.
- Mix in a separate bowl the oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and eggs.
- Strain the milk to remove the tea leaves and once cool mix into the liquids in step 4. The milk is cool enough if you can comfortably put your finger in it.
- Add the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is incorporated and there are no dry ingredients.
- Fill the muffin tin to about 2/3 of the way up the sides and bake for 14-16 minutes. Test with a toothpick (which should come out clean) before removing. Makes 12 regular sized muffins.
**If you want an even more intense tea taste, replace a tablespoon of the flour with a tablespoon of tea leaves. Crush the tea leaves into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
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Delicious Tea Ice Cream Float
Tea ice cream floats are a fun way to drink tea when it is really hot out or you are in the mood for an ice cream float but without the soda. Below we used Ginger Honeybush, as this was for dessert after dinner and we did not want caffeine that late in the day. The recipe below is scaled for 4 people but is easy to scale down or up. There is also no requirement that you freshly brew the tea, if you have iced tea in the refrigerator, feel free to try with that.
Tea Ice Cream Floats – Ingredients
4 tablespoons Ginger Honeybush tea
4 teaspoons of Agave Nectar
2 1/4 Cups Boiling Water
Seltzer Water (Should be cold)
Vanilla Ice Cream (You can use any ice cream. We happen to like Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream)
4 Large Glasses
Tea Ice Cream Floats – Steps
- Take your 4 glasses and put 1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar into each glass. Bring your 2 1/4 cups of water up to a boil.
- Steep the 4 tablespoons of Ginger Honeybush in the water for 5 minutes.
- Strain off the tea and pour 1/2 cup into each glass and stir (yes the tea is hot). Pour in selzter water until half-way up the glass and stir.
- Scoop in vanilla ice cream and then pour in additional seltzer water to the desired level. Serve and enjoy!
This is a fun way to do ice cream floats without soda. The seltzer water still gives you the crunchy ice cream effect that you get with soda.
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Matcha Infused Sencha and Brie
Tea has been consumed with food for centuries, so it seems rather funny to talk about tea and food pairings. However, as high quality tea becomes more widely available there are many opportunities to look at what you want to eat with your prized tea to enhance its flavor and give you new experiences. We bet there are certain foods you wouldn’t think to have a cup of tea with. So here are 3 unusual tea and food pairings you might want to try.
- Brie and Matcha Infused Sencha – Yes, France meets Japan. Given that Brie is typically paired with a Chardonnay or fruity light red wine, Matcha Infused Sencha was a shock. This grassy tea compliments the Brie and enhances its flavor without losing its own. The two together create a lite nutty flavor that is smooth and creamy.
- Tomato, Basil & Garlic Pasta with 2nd Flush Darjeeling – Pairing this fragrant, yet strong, tea with a tomato sauce makes for lovely combination. The crisp Darjeeling cuts the acidity of the sauce while enhancing the basil with other herbal notes. Darjeeling is surprisingly versatile, so pair it with your favorite tomato sauce and pasta combination. It also stands up to your favorite spicy dishes.
- Roasted Nuts & White Peony Tea – The next time you reach for your favorite roasted nut for a snack, grab a cup of white tea to go with it. The combination of the salty nut and floral white make a third flavor together that is like cream. This is especially true with pistachios, cashews, and almonds.
Pairing tea with meals is similar to pairing wine with meals. Lighter teas with lighter foods and stronger teas with stronger foods. However, don’t allow that guidance to stop you from experimenting. The complex flavors in teas make them very versatile and fun to play with. So bring out your favorite tea and pair it with some of your favorite foods you wouldn’t consider. You will be amazed at what you find.
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What is tea infused foam? Great question! It is a fun way to play with your cocktails and a good excuse to have your own whipped cream dispenser. Below we will give you a few tips and tricks on making your own and even point out the recipes that can be done with a standard kitchen whisk.
History of Foamy Cocktails
So the foam in cocktails is traditionally made with egg whites. Eggs have been added to beverages since the Middle Ages. Keep in mind that alcohol was common beverage since the technology and knowledge of how to make most water safe to drink was not available. The modern day version of egg cocktails came in the late 1800’s and all of them involve shaking the cocktail. Modern technology, in the form of the modern day whipped cream dispenser, allow us to bypass shaking and to substitute the egg.
Tea Infused Foam Recipes
1 tsp of Egg Replacer
1 tablespoon of water
16 oz of Cold Tea (Your favorite flavor)
Stir together the egg replacer and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the tea and the egg replacer to the whipped cream dispenser and shake hard for about 30 seconds before adding the gas canister to the dispenser. Shake again for a few more seconds after the canister has emptied into the dispenser. It is ready to use on your favorite beverage. We love adding Chocolate Mint foam to iced Earl Grey. If you would like to use egg, it is just egg white from 1 egg instead of the egg replacer and water in this recipe.
Note: Egg replacer will not foam without the dispenser, so there is no point in trying a whisk on this recipe.
1 tsp Guar Gum
16oz of Cold Tea
Whisk together the guar gum and cold tea until the guar gum is dissolved and a foamy gel is formed. The gel will be heavy and sink into the drink if not added to the whipped cream dispenser. So while it can be spooned directly onto the drink, it may work better and be even more foamy if put it in the whipped cream dispenser for application.
Enjoy using the foam as a way to change up your ice team or favorite foamy cocktail.
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