Poached fruit is an easy, yet elegant dessert for a festive occasion.
4 medium organic pears, peeled, cored and quartered
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
some zest of 1/2 orange, in strips
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan. Be sure the pan is not too large, so that the juice completely covers the pears. If the juice does not cover the pears and the fruit floats, place a small plate upside down in pot, to weigh pears down in liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 7 (for ripe fruit) to 10 minutes (for less ripe fruit). Pears should pierce easily with a fork.
To make syrup, transfer pears to a bowl. Simmer the poaching liquid until it is reduced by one third and thickened to desired consistency, 30 to 40 minutes. Pears can be stored in poaching liquid in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Serve pears alone or with poaching liquid, warm or chilled, spooned over ice cream, yogurt, or angel food cake.
Try this recipe with fruit of the same firmness and ripeness. Softer fruits can be used, too, but reduce the cooking time.
As prepared, each serving contains 170 calories, 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 44g total carbohydrate and 2g protein.