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Cranberry-Poached Pears

Pears take on an eye-catching crimson cast when poached with vibrant cranberries. Their pleasing tartness can be countered by a sliver of rich goat cheese or a dollop of creme fraiche or yogurt.

  • Servings: 8
Cranberry-Poached Pears

Photography: Alastair Hendy

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007

Ingredients

  • 8 small pears, such as Seckel or Forelle, peeled, stems intact
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large strip (4 to 5 inches) orange peel
  • 1 large strip (4 to 5 inches) lemon peel
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 3/4 cups (10 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 tea bag, such as green tea or fruit tea
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, or soft goat cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Place pears in a saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add enough water to barely cover them (about 4 cups). Add sugar, cinnamon, citrus peels, honey, and lemon juice. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds into pan, and toss in pod. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat, and simmer gently until pears are tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add fresh cranberries, and simmer until cranberries are soft but not mushy, about 3 minutes more.

  3. Use a spoon to transfer pears to a dish. Spoon cranberries and syrup around pears. Add tea bag and dried cranberries if using. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Before serving, remove vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, citrus peels, and tea bag. Transfer pears to plates with some of the cranberries, syrup, and a dollop of yogurt, creme fraiche, or cheese.

Reviews (3)

  • chrissyjeets 13 Dec, 2007

    does anyone know what adding a bit of white wine would do to this dessert?

  • wyreherbie 28 Nov, 2007

    I tweaked the ingredients-substituted Canadian maple syrup for honey; used two UK Clipper Oganic Green Tea bags; used brown sugar in place of refined white sugar; added an extra cup of organic dried sugared cranberries. Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans are the optimal flavouring. The pinkish hue imbued to the mixed batch of skinned Forella and Seckel pears...simply luxuriant presentation. Martha, you have once again upped the ante on taste and plate image. A sincere thanks for your webite.

  • missmeow48 12 Nov, 2007

    This is fantastic, ran out to the store this AM and got the ingredients, have already made them and took a sample WONDERFUL

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