Cardamom-Vanilla Poached Pears with Pistachios

Serves 4 / Use a pot that’s big enough to avoid crowding pears, but small enough that pears remain upright during cooking. Serve with pistachio tuilles (cookies).

4 medium firm but ripe pears (Comice work well)

2 cups dry white wine

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons whole cardamom pods

1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1/2 cup chopped pistachios (raw and unsalted), toasted

4 tablespoons crème fraiche

1. Peel pears, leaving stem intact. Using a melon baller, core from blossom end. In a medium or large pot, combine wine, water, and honey. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add cardamom pods and vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Stand pears upright in pot. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until pears are softened but still hold their shape. Gently remove pears and set aside.

2. Scoop out cardamom pods and vanilla bean from cooking mixture and discard. Increase heat to medium-high and cook mixture until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

3. To assemble, make a small slice at the top of each pear and insert two mint leaves. Spoon 1 tablespoon crème fraiche on each dessert plate, place one pear on each plate and drizzle with syrup. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Serve warm.

PER SERVING: 328 cal, 33% fat cal, 13g fat, 4g sat fat, 15mg chol, 5g protein, 53g carb, 9g fiber, 17mg sodium

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