Spiced Tea-Poached Pears
When you're looking for a fall-flavoured dessert you can easily make ahead, turn to poached pears. They're easy to make, quite versatile, and keep well if stored in the fridge in the liquid they're poached in. We've cooked these ones in a sweet simple syrup flavoured with tea, cinnamon and vanilla bean. Choose whichever tea you fancy, we went for Pukka's licorice tea this time around, but love this recipe when made with green or rooibos tea as well.
Look for pears that are ripe but still firm, if they're too soft they'll fall apart as they cook and won't retain their pretty signature shape.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED • 4-1/2 cups water • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar • 2 tea bags • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped • 1 cinnamon stick • 4 Bartlett pears, peeled leaving stems on
In large saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, tea, vanilla bean and seeds, and cinnamon stick. Bring to boil. Simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Discard tea bags,
While liquid is coming to a boil, cut out a parchment-paper circle to fit the top of your saucepan. Add pears to liquid. Top with parchment paper, pressing pears down to keep them submerged and prevent them from browning. To make this easier, you can top the parchment paper with a light, heat-proof object like a sieve.
Cook pears, stirring from time to time, until soft, about 30 minutes. To serve, half and core the pears; or core them whole using a small pairing knife.