French Fridays with Dorie: Spice-poached Apples and Pears

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Surprise, surprise – a Saturday morning edition of French Fridays with Dorie. This simple recipe of fragrant poached fruit is perfect for a cloudy Saturday morning when fall and Rosh Hashanah are just around the corner.

French Fridays w Dorie Poached Apples and PearsApples and honey are traditional foods eaten on the Jewish New Year and this recipe incorporates both. As I mentioned in my Rush into Rosh Hashanah post, this poached fruit would be a lovely ending to a Jewish New Year meal with family and friends as well as a great breakfast or snack food.

In Dorie’s cookbook, Around My French Table, Dorie suggests serving the spiced fruit with cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt or her favorites – aside rice pudding or French toast. I think a dollop of ice cream or frozen yogurt would be nice too.

French Fridays w Dorie Poached Apples and PearsIt’s a simple cooking method involving peeled, cored, and halved fruit – either apples or pears, water, juice and peel of a lemon and orange, some vanilla, cinnamon, and star anise. The sweetness comes from sugar and honey.

I used one less star anise than she asked for because the licorice flavor it imparts is too strong for my taste and I used a bit less sugar and honey, as our family prefers anything with fruit slightly on the tarter side.

It’s also important to use appropriate types of fruit – I used my mother’s apples and honestly I didn’t know what kind they were. I am guessing some type of red delicious and pippin. I don’t think either was ideal for poaching – the pippin “crumbled” and the red ones took much longer to soften than the pears. I would suggest a heartier apple like a Fuji or Braeburn or Pink Lady next time. As for the pears, you should also stick to Anjou or Bosc or the hard-to-find but sublime Warren Pear but I had underripe Bartletts and they worked just fine.

I munched on the crumbly pippin and, texture aside, the flavor of the poaching liquid was sublime. No particular flavor overpowered the other – they just mingled together as beautifully as the guests at our annual Rosh Hashanah gathering always do.

French Fridays w Dorie Poached Apples and PearsMy favorite part of the recipe? After you remove the fruit, Dorie tells you to boil the poaching liquid for ten minutes to yield 1 1/2 cups of liquid to pour over the fruit. I did exactly what she said, poured it in a measuring cup, and the amount was dead-on. Thanks Dorie for your precise and accurate instructions!

As always, I learned much from Dorie’s recipe and playing along with this wonderful group. To read more renditions of this recipe, check out the French Fridays with Dorie web site and buy Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table. You will cherish the purchase and learn from each recipe and story that she shares.

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20 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Spice-poached Apples and Pears

  1. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies September 18, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    I’ve never made poached apples. And I don’t really have any excuse at all! These look delicious!

  2. Cher September 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    This was such a flexible recipe – I even used a peach with great success.
    It looks perfectly lovely.

    Happy New Year!

    • Beth September 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Heading over now to check out your peachy approach! I could just drink the poaching liquid too. Come to think of it, it would probably make a great base for a drink!

  3. Teresa September 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I love your photos of the ingredients and the finished dish. We had some very firm apples on hand, which were perfect for poaching. My favourite apples to use, though, are the ones from my parents’ trees, which are perfect for the apple cake in Around My French Table. It sounds like your mother’s apples would work well in that cake, too.

    There’s a serendipity about our French Friday schedules that often seem to result in having a dish come up at exactly the right time. I’m glad that this recipe fit so well for Rosh Hashanah!

    • Beth September 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      You are the third person to mention the apple cake form AMFT. Just might make it for the belated New Year’s celebration this coming Saturday night. I loved Dorie’s write-up about it. So Dorie and so fun to read.

  4. Angela September 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    What a yummy looking fall dish….and your photos are wonderful. I subscribed to your feed and look forward to your future posts 🙂

    • Beth September 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      Thanks Angela! Glad to have you as a subscriber. The photos are coming along – I still have a lot to learn but practice practice practice – just like cooking!

  5. Emily September 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Oh this sounds delicious! Stopping by from SITS

  6. Beverly September 16, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Your fruit looks beautiful and I enjoyed your celebration story.

  7. Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions September 16, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Oh man.. this is making me hungry. I love spiced apples, so this post is right up my alley.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  8. Simone September 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    visiting from sits! this looks so delicious!


  9. marilyn September 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I appreciated learning how the apples and honey tied into your Rosh Hashanah gathering

    • Beth September 16, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      Thanks Marilyn – it was perfect timing for me with this recipe!

  10. Hannah September 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Oh my, I may have to add this to our menu! Have you tried Dorie’s apple cake from the book? That was an instant favorite in our family. I’m so happy it’s apple season!

    • Beth September 16, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Have not tried the apple cake yet – but will add it to my wish list! Thanks for the tip Hannah.

  11. yummychunklet September 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm #


  12. sandy corman September 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    sorry my apples did not quite fit your recipe for poaching but I am glad you could use them in other ways. Looks delicious.

    • Beth September 16, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      I think they would be perfect for applesauce or an apple cake. They have gotten nice each year don’t you think?

  13. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write) September 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Interesting about the different apples making a difference but I guess it makes sense. What a delicious breakfast 🙂

    • Beth September 16, 2012 at 8:28 am #

      Yes – about to dig in again! You always learn something when you cook, even the simplest of dishes.

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