Recipe from "The Martha Stewart Show" TV kitchen
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cut out a parchment-paper circle the diameter of your saucepan; set aside. Add tea bags to boiling water, remove saucepan from heat, and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing excess liquid into the saucepan, and discard. Add sugar, ginger, orange peel, vanilla pod and seeds to the tea; stir to dissolve sugar. Bring tea mixture to a simmer over medium high heat; cook 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds and core from the bottom of each pear. Add pears to saucepan; reduce heat maintaining a gentle simmer. Cover pears with the parchment-paper circle to keep them submerged. Cook until just tender, about 20 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove pears. Strain cooking liquid; discard solids. Return cooking liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes.
Place pears on plates and spoon about 2 tablespoons syrup over each pear. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone and brittle. Any remaining syrup can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Drizzle over ice cream, if desired.