Since we no longer use sugar in this house (other than honey and what naturally occurs in fruits and veggies) we've had to get creative when it comes to making desserts. Luckily fall us upon us and some of the most beautiful and fragrant produce adorns the shelves of our local market. Last week I found the cutest little seckel pears. About the size of an egg, these beautiful balls of sweetness are excellent for poaching and even more perfect for satisfying my sweet tooth.
You can easily use any variety of pears for this dish, but I particularly love the seckels not only because they are cute but because their core is to tiny you can eat the pear whole and not have to peal the skin or cut out the center.
This dish tastes like fall but smells like Christmas. I must warn you that one whiff of the poaching liquid may give you a burning desire to turn on some old school Amy Grant Christmas albums :)
Whether you are trying to cut out sugar or just broaden your recipe repertoire you must add this dish to your collection. It is a simple yet elegant way to end a meal and enjoy the flavors of the season!
Vanilla Poached Seckel Pears With Honey & Warm Spices
- 10-12 seckel pears, washed
- 3 whole star anise
- 6 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup of honey or more or less depending on how sweet you want the poaching liquid to be
- 1 vanilla bean, split seeds scraped out (save the pod!)
- water to cover
Place the whole pears in a stock pot and cover completely with filtered water. Add the spices, vanilla seeds and split vanilla pod and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat, stir in the honey and simmer until pears are very tender and the poaching liquid is very fragrant. About 30 minutes or so (I didn't time it....I just served it when the whole house started to smell like Christmas!)
When the pears are tender remove from heat and spoon some poaching liquid and two or three pears into bowls and serve warm.