Finish a heavy meal with a lighter touch.
6 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 pears, preferably bosc or d’Anjou
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
Garnish: sage leaves, heavy cream optional
In a dutch oven or large saucepan, stir together water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a a simmer.
Meanwhile, peel pears and halve them, leaving the stem intact on one half. Working from the bottom, insert an apple corer or melon baller to remove cores.
Gently place pears in sugar syrup and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer. Cooking time may be anywhere from 8 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the pears’ ripeness; pears are done when they are tender and a paring knife can be inserted easily.
Meanwhile combine honey and sage leaves in a small saucepan an bring them just to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let stand until pears are done.
When pears are done, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining them well, to a large plate, flat sides down. Reheat sage honey if needed to make it liquid enough to brush onto pears;strain out sage leaves. Brush honey over each pear (don’t brush the flat sides). Arrange on serving plates with the stem half of each pear propped on the other half.
Serve pears garnished with sage leaves; drizzle with a little cream if desired.
Recipe and photo by Linda, adapted from DESSERTS FROM AN HERB GARDEN