Poached Pears with Ginger Crème Anglaise and Caramel Sauces
10 small pears, (“Forelle” is an especially nice choice if this variety is available)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
6 bags orange-spice tea, (any brand is okay)
Ginger Crème Anglaise, (see below)
Caramel Sauce, (see below)
STEP 1:Put the sugar, water, lemon and tea bags into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally to dissolve sugar and release flavor from the tea. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
STEP 2:Meanwhile, carefully peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. Use a small melon-baller or the tip of a vegetable peeler to remove the blossom end of the pear. Next, remove a thin slice off the bottom of the pear so that it will stand upright and not tip over.
STEP 3:Add the pears to the poaching liquid in the pot and simmer them very gently for 25-30 minutes or until they are tender but not mushy or falling apart. A very sharp knife can be inserted into a pear or two to gauge doneness. The pears will also begin to look slightly translucent when they are done. Turn off flame and allow poaching liquid to cool. Remove the pears to a large plate, standing them up, and allow them to cool to room temperature. If the pears lie on their sides they will flatten.
STEP 4:Place the cooled pears into a plastic container large enough to hold them. Pour poaching liquid over the pears until they are completely covered with liquid. It is okay for the pears to float- they will maintain their shape. Cover the container with its lid and place the pears into a refrigerator. Pears can be kept this way for several days.
STEP 5:To serve the pears, remove them from their syrup to a plate to warm to room temperature. Leave as much of the poaching liquid behind as possible. Place each of the pears, standing upright, onto a dessert plate. Carefully pour a spoonful of the Anglaise sauce around the base of each pear. Next, take a large spoonful of the caramel sauce and drizzle it around the base of each pear, into the Anglaise sauce. Pour a small amount of caramel sauce over the top of each pear and serve immediately. Makes 10 servings.
STEP 6:Ginger Crème Anglaise: Here is a link to a basic recipe found on the Epicurious website: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ginger-Creme-Anglaise-14596
STEP 8:Caramel Sauce: Here is a link to a basic recipe found on the Epicurious website: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Caramel-Sauce-234448