SAFFRON POACHED PEARS
MAKES 6 SERVINGS HANDS-ON TIME 10 MINUTES TOTAL TIME 3 ½ HOURS
2½ cups granulated sugar 8 green cardamom pods 6 strips orange zest 3 thin slices peeled ginger 1 cinnamon stick ¼ tsp saffron threads 6 small firm pears (such as Bartlett or Bosc) Cut circle of parchment paper slightly smaller than base of large pot; set aside.
In same pot, bring sugar, cardamom pods, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon stick, saffron and 8 cups water to boil over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.
Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using melon baller or teaspoon, core each pear through bottom.
Reduce heat to simmer. Add pears; place parchment paper circle over top, pressing directly on pears. Place small lid over top to keep pears submerged. Return to simmer; cook until tender in centre when pierced with knife, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool in syrup, about 3 hours.
Using slotted spoon, transfer 1 pear to each bowl; drizzle 3 tbsp of the syrup over top each pear.
PER SERVING about 147 cal, 1 g pro, trace total fat (0 g sat. fat), 36 g carb (5 g dietary fibre, 27 g sugar), 0 mg chol, 2 mg sodium, 164 mg potassium. % RDI: 2% calcium, 2% iron, 13% vit C, 4% folate.