honey tangerine and lime poached pears

It was recently revealed to me that my fella has a thing for poached pears. It was recently discovered that the grocery store did not have any pomelos for sale. It was recently decided upon that honey tangerines are jewels of deliciousness, and it was recently intuited that said tangerines and lime would work nicely together.

All of these seemingly disparate items were united yesterday, when the stars aligned to create these light-yet-satisfying Honey Tangerine and Lime Poached Pears.

The closest I’d come to poached pears in my entire life (I think) were the canned kind, notably those in small Fruit Cocktail Cups that I used to eat for lunch in elementary school. The pears were always my least favorite part of the fruit cocktail equation, often eschewed for the tastier mandarin oranges and special-er maraschino cherries.

While a lot of poached pear recipes use a red wine base, I wanted something lighter, that would highlight the tart sweetness of a citrus syrup. Erin of yummy supper had a nice post last fall about pears poached in Lillet and citrus, but not surprisingly my small town grocery store was Lillet-less. Listlesslly left without Lillet, I briefly considered taking the pears in a Calvados direction.

I decided to let the citrus shine without including any frivolous (read: expensive) liqueur. Rather, a sprinkling of dried rosemary introduced an herbiness that played nicely with the tangerine-lime combination.


My pears, once peeled, looked as if they had been doing a bit of roughhousing with the locally-grown potatoes in the grocery storeroom after hours. It’s a nice grocery store, I promise. It has a fantastic meat selection, but bruised pears and no pomelos. You win some, you lose some: I win bacon, for instance. And if I wanted to, plenty of chicken livers and cow feet to boot.

I made this dessert as a capper to my Valentine’s Feast of Fun, which featured two kinds of pierogi, lots of butter, a smattering of Alfredo sauce, and some bubbly Prosecco. And since sweets are the best expression of my love, I made a second dessert as well. Who would only make one dessert for their sweetheart? [I would, if I had a job.] If Red Velvet Crème Brûlée (RVCB) sounds right up your alley, browse the interweb to find a good recipe. I’d link you, but the RVCB blogger’s writing style was so obnoxious that I can’t post the link in good faith, sorry.

This dessert is perfect for any occasion. The citrus makes it a welcoming choice whether the conditions outside are wintry or warm, and the pears’ juicy lightness is the perfect way to end a starchy meal – or the perfect preamble to a second dessert !

Honey Tangerine and Lime Poached Pears

{Original recipe, with pearls of pear wisdom garnered from yummy supper}

Makes 4 servings.


2 honey tangerines (1 zested, both sliced thin)
1 lime, sliced thin
10 peppercorns
Several pinches of dried rosemary
5 c. (1.2 liters) water
1 1/2 c. (300 g) sugar
4 pears (I used both Bosc and Anjou pears)


Heat all but the pears in a 4-quart pan (one that will fit the pears nicely) mixture begins to simmer. Meanwhile, peel pears and cut off a small sliver of the pear bottom to encourage them to stay strong and stand on their own.

Submerge pears in pan, and keep at a simmer. If pears are not covered by liquid, add additional water:sugar mixture until fully submerged. Put a pan-sized circle of parchment over the pears, and weigh all down with a pot lid – this way, they will be kept from additional roughhousing.

Simmer for 30-40 minutes, depending on the pears’ initial ripeness. Mine were somewhat unripe, and took 40 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit an additional 30 minutes.

Place each pear and some of its decorative syrupy allies in a small bowl or glass. Add in syrup if desired. Serve immediately, or allow to chill before serving.


in which i continue my love affair with b.t. mcelrath

…and his tauntingly wonderful chocolate bars.

Previously, I’ve displayed my adoration of B.T. McElrath’s Salty Dog and Chile Limón chocolate bars, which in my book are both standout examples of what fine chocolate can (and should) be. Varied, intense, playful, inviting, inspired. Lots of ins. Am I describing my interior decorating scheme, you may ask? No, not this time – although a post describing my infatuation with owl lamps may be in order.

Ahh, B.T. McElrath, providing a distraction from the sad and desolate times that are my most recent baking failure slash unpretty success. You see, gentle reader, once upon a last Friday, I set out to make a Meyer lemon tart. It couldn’t get much simpler, really; lemons poached for two hours in a simple syrup were then placed on a pre-baked (and pre-bought, sheesh!) rectangle of puff pastry. Leave it to meaver to mess this one up, although in all honesty, I blame the grocery store. When I arrived, issuing forth a looking-for-Meyer-lemons tune, I was shocked to find that lo-and-behold, the Meyer lemons were gone! Settling for lame-o regular and Meyer-less lemons, I chose to also pick up one (1) Seville [aka sour] orange, to intensify the syrup’s flavor and add some cheery color. I also thought to choose to write without hyphenating every other sentence.

Well. Intensify the flavor it did, to the point that tart became mouth-puckering. Looking to sweeten the deal, I added more sugar to the perfectly ratio-ed sugar:water mixture, before skipping off out of doors to photograph the same crocus for the fourth time in a week. Here it is!

After being notified a while later by phone that whatever hot mess I was cooking on the stove was indeed a hot mess, I returned home only to realize what a ridiculous choice I had made without thinking.

So. Plan B. Plan B??? The dessert I was making was for a dinner party, and I had a little under an hour to get everything sorted out. I still had my puff pastry (although it ended up almost burning in the oven on its own… suspicious), and the ingredients to make a lovely vanilla-scented (flavored?) whipped cream, so all I needed was the middle layer. Think, think.

Luckily, I had read earlier that day about an ingenious idea! Over at my newest and most enjoyed witty read of the day, Wayfaring Chocolate, Hannah had posted a recipe for a sort of coconut cocoa-nut butter, reminiscent of Nutella, but more appealing to me, a devoted Nutella kinda almost disliker. Having on-hand some almonds and chocolates in various stages of decay, I mixed my version up in the Cuisinart, abandoning the coconut somewhere along the way.

So thanks, Hannah, for saving the dessert at my dinner party. It was in the end fortuitous that I had acted so stupidly, as one of the dinner-goers hates all things lemon (and this I had temporarily forgotten).

It’s too bad the coconut cocoa-nut butter doesn’t make for a more enticing photograph – however, it does mimic the patterning of my intended topic for discussion: B.T. McElrath’s Passion Fruit & Tangerine Chocolate Bar.

I’m so lucky to have a most wonderful mother who beckons at my every chocolate call. More macaroons, I say! More B.T. bars! And more than anything, more more more of my favorite chocolate accompaniment, Tea Source Gold tea (which coincidentally, contains passion fruit)! And like always, she came through.

I mentioned the Passion Fruit & Tangerine Bar the last time I discussed B.T. McElrath. But now, I can profess my love – – – with photos!

Weighing in at 3.0 ounces (85 grams), B.T. bars arrive in a clean- and professional-looking box. The front labels this bar as 100% Natural (how could chocolate be anything but natural to me?), while the back reminds that chocolate is the hero here (I semi-repeat, how could chocolate be anything but a hero to me?), and that taking a bite will plunge me into a labyrinth of indulgence, where I will promptly become lost. Sounds right up my alley, so let’s dive right in, shall we? Let’s shall.

Due to each section’s rounded hump, the Passion Fruit & Tangerine bar is thicker than many of the other chocolates I frequently enjoy. Labeled alternately B.T. and BAR, you’re not likely to forget whose chocolate you’re labyrinthingly losing yourself in. For being such an aesthetically-pleasing mixture of dark and white chocolates, the bar is also tempered evenly and well. Each piece is a smooth snap off the ol’ block.

While mellow, the flavors of passion fruit and tangerine are present throughout the tasting. However, as warned, the chocolate(s) is(are) the hero(es) here. Not a fan of white chocolate as a Rule, I’m nonetheless pleased with the overall smooth taste of the bar. With B.T.’s Chile Limón bar, the added flavors didn’t kick in until the chocolate had nearly melted in my mouth. That isn’t the case here, where the fruitiness is ever present, and evenly palated by my mouth.

I hope to showcase more of these bars in the future, because I think they’re really pretty spectacular. And Minneapolis too, way to go. Two great chocolate treats in one week!

What I’m basically saying, to vaguely quote Shakespeare, is get thee to a B.T. McElrath!

B.T. McElrath Chocolatier

2010 E. Hennepin Ave., #78
Minneapolis, MN 55413


New this spring for B.T.: Blood Orange Blossoms, Chai-Spiced Honey Truffles, and Strawberry Balsamic Caramels, which reminds me of a recently-posted recipe for balsamic strawberry ice cream over at Bake Me Away.

And finally, check out my favorite part of B.T.’s advertising scheme: labeling their cardboard boxes, on the inside, as SFI Chain of Custody certified (see below) – way to go, forestry/chocolate interactions!