Poached Pears in Pomegranate Reduction

A Springtime Favorite!

1 quart water or a combination of white wine 2×1 and water

1 1/3 cup turbinado sugar

4 Bosc pears; peeled, cored, and quartered

Options: 1-2 pieces of orange or lemon zest; one split vanilla bean; 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. whole cloves, black peppercorns or allspice berries, one lemon half, , 2-3 star anise, 6-8 fresh ginger slices.

1. In a large saucepan, heat the water and sugar until warm and the sugar is dissolved. Add any of the spices mentioned above that you wish.

2. Gently place pears in the water and cover with a round of parchment paper, with a small hole cut in the center.

3. Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid.

Pomegranate Syrup
4 cups POM juice or any other pomegranate juice (fresh squeezed is best)
4 Tablespoons honey or sugar
1 Tbs. of sherry, tawny port or balsamic vinegar
Skin from one apple (the pectin from this is a thickening agent, more flavorful than corn starch and requires much less energy and processing too!)

Simmer all the ingredients in a pan until reduced by half. Strain before using.

Note: For a savory sauce over meats or poultry add chopped shallots or crushed garlic, salt and pepper or fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Finish it off with a few Tbs of butter for a richer sauce.

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