Eva Longoria's Cranberry-poached Pears
Try this cranberry infused recipe for a fruity dessert or as a sweet side dish. As they simmer, the pears send enticing wafts of fruit and vanilla through the air, a fitting invitation to a supremely elegant dessert I've also served these at Thanksgiving with the main course in place of traditional cranberry sauce. The tea bag adds undertones that complement or highlight the fruit in the simmering liquid - fruity or floral, depending on what you use. Choose a fruit tea that you like - I use tropical green tea or passion fruit.
8 small pears, such as Seckel, Forelle, or another variety, peeled, stems intact
5 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sugar
1 4 to 5-inch strip orange zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
1 4 to 5-inch strip lemon zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lenghtwise in half
1 fruit tea bag
2-3/4 cups (10 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
1. Place the pears in a saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add enough water (about 4 cups) to barely cover them. Add the honey, sugar, orange and lemon zests, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick.
2. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and add them to the pan. Toss in the pod and add the tea bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the cranberries and return to a simmer until they burst, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bag.
4. Transfer the pears to a large bowl and pour over the cranberries and syrup. Cover and refrigerate overnight for up to 3 days.
5. Remove and discard the citrus zest, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean. To serve, arrange the pears on a platter. Spoon over the cranberries and as much of the poaching liquid as desired. Serve. Makes 8 servings. By Eva Longoria