Poached Pears in Vanilla Syrup

For 4 people:

  • ¾-cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 pears (your choice)
  • To serve: crème fraîche, chocolate sauce
  1.  In a large skillet or saucepan, bring 2 cups water and sugar to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Boil 2 minutes then add vanilla extract.
  3. Keep syrup at the boiling point.
  4. One at a time, peel and core pears from the bottom.
  5. Leave the stems intact. If necessary, trim bottoms of pears so they will stand up.
  6. Using tongs, dip each pear in boiling syrup to coat and prevent darkening.
  7.  Turn pear on its side in syrup.
  8. After all the pears have been added, test the first one for doneness by piercing it with the tip of a knife. If tender, remove with tongs, holding over the skillet to drain.
  9. Place pears upright in a (not very flat) serving dish.
  10. Raise the heat under the skillet to high and cook the syrup about 15 minutes. It should be reduced by half.
  11. Pour syrup around pears in the serving dish, cover loosely with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

To serve:

  1. Swirl chocolate syrup on each plate.
  2. Mound a large spoonful or two of crème fraîche in the middle.
  3. Set the pear in the middle of the crème fraîche and serve.

 

 

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