This is a a great simple fall or winter dessert. We enjoy them plain or dribbled with caramel sauce.
Peel 6 pears, leaving stem. Remove button at bottom with a small melon baller.
Measure into a large saute pan:
- 1 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Spices: 1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and scraped; 1-2 cinnamon sticks; 3-4 cardamom pods; zest of one orange; 1-2 pieces star anise
Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover with a cartouche and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until a knife pierces the pears easily.
Remove pan from burner and allow to come to room temperature in their poaching liquid. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve.