Poached Pears: A Great Fall Recipe!

Poached Pears


Last weekend we enjoyed a Fall focused Whole Foods Cooking Lab with one of our Wholistic Nutrition Program groups and instructor, Ellen Goldsmith, M.S.O.M., L.Ac., Diplomate of Chinese Herbs. Students enjoyed a full day of learning about the energetics of food from the perspective of Chinese Medicine. They had the chance to make several delicious dishes reflective of the season in addition to learning about congees, herbs and teas for staying healthy in the autumnal months and beyond.

For our postprandial enjoyment (say that 10x fast!) Ellen introduced the students to poached pears as a wonderful way to bring Yin Building foods into the diet. Pears are cool in temperature, and sour/sweet in flavor. As a whole, they tonify yin and help support the function of the lung.

And best of all, pears are plentiful right now, delicious and easy to make! Check out the below recipe that Ellen shared with the class.


Hibiscus Poached Pears

From the book Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich with Maya Klein

Makes 1 quart


  • ½ cup whole dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 ¼ cups apple juice (or water)
  • 2 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 2 pounds firm pears, either under ripe Bosc or Anjou pears


  • Strainer
  • Basket Type Coffee filter or paper towel


Place the hibiscus in a medium heatproof bowl.

Bring the apple juice (or water) to a boil in a medium nonreactive saucepan and pour the water over the hibiscus. Let steep for 10 minutes. Line the strainer with the filter or paper towel and pour the liquid back into the saucepan; squeeze the hibiscus in the filter to extract all of the juice and discard the hibiscus. Add the lemon juice.

Peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut each quarter into 4 long slices. Add the pears to the simmering mixture. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until translucent all the way through, turning carefully once or twice. Cover the pan and let cool for about an hour. Serve at room temperature.

The pears may be stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Any leftover syrup can be added to sparkling water! 


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