THANKSGIVING DESSERT: Spiced Chocolate Poached Pears

I've always admired Thanksgiving. Although I'm British, born and raised, I love the Americans' idea of dedicating a day to remember, gather family and give thanks. 
This year, I've taken over planning a Bible study to reflect the values of Thanksgiving. Hopefully, if everyone inlcuding my pastor, is on board, we will be having a themed study, with Thanksgiving food afterwards (I'm going to come hungry - oh yeah!). Luckily we have a Texan in our midst and everyone is hoping that she's going to present us with the ultimate Thanksgiving staple - pumpkin pie.

I don't wish to overshadow her, so I've decided to contriubute something else sweet to the our gathering. I've really been enjoying pears lately. They're in season, here in the UK, and they make a lovely change from the more obvious seasonal fleshy fruit - apple. Unfortunaely it seems, a lot of people aren't that keen on pears - sad, but true. Pears are one of my favourite fruits to eat. They're soft, juicy and sweet! 

If you're one of those people who aren't hot on raw pears, maybe you'll give them another try with this cooking method; poaching. Poaching is one of the best ways to use up stray pears. Even over ripe pears will serve as a delicious desssert or snack once poached. This is the first time I've tried to poach pears - I don't know why I haven't tried it before! It's so easy and quick to do - perfect for a last minute and light Thanksgiving dish. #foodbaby-proof

To make the pears nice and spicy, you'll need the classic spices: cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and star anise.

I used a mix of pears with this batch. Rocha (also known as dessert pears) which are short and sweet and conference pears, which are tall and green. Peel your pears until they are bare and set aside.

Combine the spices, including the rind of a lemon, in a saucepan with caster sugar

Fill halfway the saucepan with water, and bring to boil. Boil the mixture for a few minutes to infuse the water with the spices. This will become your poaching liquid.

Add your pears to the poaching liquid, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and let infuse for at least 30 minutes.

Spiced pears taste really good with dark chocolate. Make a chocolate sauce by heating double cream in a pan, without boiling.

Chop good quality dark chocolate into bitesize chunks and combine with the heated milk.

Stir on a low heat until the sauce is opaque and thick and chocolatey! Yum :D

The longer you leave your pears to infuse the better. I left this bacth to simmer for about 1 hour and then let the pears sit in the liquid overnight. This is what they looked like, the morning after poaching. Mine came out incredibly soft - fall off the stalk soft.

Serve your poached pears in a shallow dish or bowl, with a bit of the poaching liquid ( you can bring this to boil to reduce it down to a sticky glaze, if you want to) and a good serving of chocolate sauce over the top. The dessert tastes amazing if the chocolate and pear is heated slightly.

Dress with autumnal decor, and you've got a winner!

And that's it! You can prepare this dessert the say before your Thanksgiving dinner, and quickly stick in the microwave or on the hob when you're ready to chow down!


If you try this Thanksgiving dessert, let me know!

If you're looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration, check out these amazing recipes below (links at bottom of page)

Orange and Yogurt Tart
Chocolate Coconut Pie with Toasted Almonds
Spice Layer Cake
Pumpkin Ice Box Pie
Oatmeal Nut Crunch Apple Pie

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