Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cinnamon Vanilla Poached Pears

a pear with a hat!

This is one of my new favorite desserts. I saw someone do this and then read a bunch of articles getting ready to do them for my class. I decided on cinnamon vanilla and put together this recipe (although I'm sure someone out there has done the same thing). Oh, and my kids loved them so much (high school students) that I didn't get a picture before they were gone!
edit: added pictures this time around!

Cinnamon Vanilla Poached Pear

2 c water
1 c sugar (or more, if you have more pears; just make sure you have two parts water to one part sugar)
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 t of cinnamon oil
1 T pure vanilla extract (or go all out and buy a vanilla bean and split it!)
2 pears

Peel and core pears. Cut in half lengthwise.
While preparing pears, heat water, sugar, and flavoring to a low simmer.
Carefully lower pears into simmering water, being sure that they are next to each other, and not on top of each other in the water. Continue to simmer for anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes, depending on original ripeness of pears. (If it started out pretty crisp, it will take longer). Check doneness with a very thin blade knife. When it meets the pear with little resistance, it is done.
Take the hot pot off of the heat. Cool pears in the liquid they cooked in.
After cooling, remove the pears to a plate or container (can be refrigerated a day before).

(Optional): Put the liquid back on the stove and reduce it to about one cup of sauce by simmering it. (Don't boil it, or you will end up with caramel or hard candy!)Use this sauce to pour over the pears to serve.
Garnish with orange zest.