Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tea Poached Cherries

I honestly don’t know why I hadn’t heard of these before, or why I never thought of poaching cherries in tea. Tea cooked cherries are simple, easy, and delicious. Put a raw cherry in the bottom of your cup, prepare tea as per usual, and drink. The heat of the tea will cook the cherry as you make your way down to it creating what is essentially a poached cherry; a warm, soft, cherry pie like morsel that will have picked up hints of whatever flavor tea it was poached in. It actually reminds me a bit of mulled wine at Christmas time. 
It is delicious, and perhaps slightly addictive. Going to have another cup of tea? Just throw in another cherry and start again. It is like the firework finale at the end of your tea. Or rather, the low fat dessert for the health conscious tea drinker. 

As simple as making poached cherries sounds, there are a few tips and tricks (and one large warning.)
Since the tea should be piping hot, you’ll be sipping the tea and not guzzling it down. You need to give the cherry time to cook in the heat of the tea – and you don’t want to accidentally swallow and choke on the cherry.  
If you are drinking out of a dainty tea cup, go through few cups of tea before you eat the cherry. 

Since fruits can be acidic, take care not to pierce the flesh of the cherry if you drink your tea with milk. I don’t think the juice of a cherry is acidic enough to curdle milk, but play is safe so you don’t end up with a cup of chunky tea.

Finally, If you are making this for someone else, let them know there is a cherry (or at least something they may choke on if they don’t drink with care) at the bottom. Unless you are very comfortable giving the Heimlich maneuver, a simple cherry can really ruin a tea party.
So, take advantage of the current cherry season, and give tea poached cherries a try. You might not have another cup of tea sans cherry until the cherry season is well and truly over.