poached pears

if you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that dessert is not my forte. i always say i'll teach myself to bake cakes when i retire. but, i have been pushing myself–the strawberry tart was a success– and so when i needed a dessert for the shepherd's pie dinner party, i decided to make these pears that i've had at several restaurants. 
     poached pears captivate me with their natural, sculptural, juicy shape and they yield to a spoon with just a little effort. you can make them well ahead and refrigerate them in the pot you cook them in. just set it out on the counter when you start dinner to bring the pears up to room temperature. this lovely dessert will give your menu a sweet, soft, finish.
• 6 ripe anjou or bosc pears
• water
• about 1 cup of sugar
• about 1/3 cup of honey
• 1 vanilla bean, split down the side
• 4 strips of lemon or orange peel
• whipping cream
• melted chocolate chips
1. peel the pears, leaving the stem unbroken. slice off the bottoms, and cut out the bottom part of the cores.
2. put about 3 cups of water, the sugar, honey, vanilla & citrus peel into a med. sized sauce pan, and mix with a whisk.
3. bring the syrup mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
4. lay the pears into the syrup and add enough water to almost cover them.
5. simmer the pears in the syrup, turning them occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with a fork- about 10-15 min.
6. let them cool in the syrup, cover, and refrigerate the pot.
7. melt the chocolate, and whip the cream.
8. spoon a little of the syrup mixture onto a dessert plate, top with the chocolate and whipped cream.
8. set a pear upright on the plate . . . eat with a spoon.

No comments: