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Sliced Poached Pears

October 10, 2007

1 orange

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

4 cups water

6 ripe but firm pears, peeled, halved and cored

Using a vegetable peeler, remove four 3-inch strips of zest from the orange. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.

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In a large saucepan, combine the zest and orange juice with the sugar, lemon juice, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Add the pears and simmer over low heat until just tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how ripe the pears are.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a serving bowl. Set aside.

Bring the remaining liquid and spices in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour the syrup through a strainer over the pears. Discard the spices.

Let the pears and syrup cool to room temperature and serve.

Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving: 225 calories; 1 g fat (0 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 67 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 4 g fiber; 0 mg sodium.

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