Poached Pears

Bosc pears, available through April, become tender yet hold their shape well when poached. A spice-infused syrup gives them a pie-like flavor.

•    Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin strips
•    1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
•    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
•    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
•    3 cups apple cider
•    8 Bosc pears (with stems), peeled and cored from bottom
•    Lemon sorbet, for serving (optional)


1.    In a large saucepan, combine lemon zest, cinnamon stick, allspice, ground pepper, apple cider, and 1 cup water.

2.    Add pears. Cover with waxed paper to prevent discoloring. Bring to a simmer. Cook, turning pears occasionally, until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Remove pears from liquid; transfer to large bowl.

3.    Raise heat to high; boil cider mixture until reduced to a syrup, about 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon. Pour syrup over pears; refrigerate. To serve, slice off a sliver from the bottom of each pear (so it stands upright). Serve pears with lemon sorbet, if desired.

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