My heart does a little pitter patter when I see the first Bartlett pears of the season in the produce section. I snack on them all through the fall…preferring mine a little green and crunchy. The rest of the family will wait till they’re ripe and juicy…they think I’m an odd duck with some of my proclivities. So when this Friday’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe gave us the option of poaching apples or pears, I chose pears. And I found some Stark Delicious pears at my local Farmers’ Market…tiny, incredibly sweet and packed with flavor, they were perfect for poaching. After cooling in the syrup, they could be used for a light dessert with some whipped cream or a dollop of mascarpone or even as a topping for French toast or waffles.
Peeled, cored and halved, the pears (or apples if you prefer) were cooked in a sugar syrup spiked with honey, lemon and orange juice, lemon and orange zest, star anise, a cinnamon stick and a small piece of a vanilla bean. Wowsers. Infused with all those amazing flavors, each bite tantalized my tongue with deliciousness. And compared to a lot of desserts I share, this one is practically health food!