Poached Pears with Citrus, Ginger and Cardamon

Refreshing and simple, a perfect way to end a meal on a light note, with the ginger contributing to help digestion.

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Poached pears are a classic, yet can be interpreted in so many different ways. Here the cardamon and ginger bring a refreshing twist. You might use ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick instead of the cardamon.

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Ingredients:
4 pears – either d’Anjou for softer texture or Bosc for firmer texture
1 orange
4 mandarins
1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
12 cardamon pods
2 cups water
1/2 cup agave syrup

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Prepping the ingredients. Wash the fruits. Cut the citrus into relatively thick slices. Peel and half the pears. Core the center to remove the hard part and seeds. Using a melon baller is a useful tool for this task. Set aside.

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Grating the ginger. I recently learned a tip for keeping fresh ginger on hand at all times in the kitchen: store it in the freezer and grate it frozen as needed.
When it comes to peeling or scraping ginger, this is a matter of personal preference. Once washed and scrubbed, you might peel it with a peeler or scrape it with a spoon in its intricate shapes. Although, I have to admit that since seeing my friends from Japan leaving the skin on the root, I have been doing the same.

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Place the water, agave syrup, cut citrus, grated ginger, cardamon in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to infuse all the flavors of the poaching liquid.

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Add the pears and return to a boil. Lower the heat again and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the pears are soft. Depending on whether the pears were hard initially, this might take a little longer. Just check with the tip of a sharp knife. You should not feel any resistance when the blade cuts through the pear.

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Once the pears are ready, turn off the heat and let cool. When the pot reaches room temperature, transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving time. This dish is best eaten cold.

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Serve by itself in its own juice, or accompanied by ginger cookies, ‘Pain d’Epice’, or a chocolate ganache. Enjoy!

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