Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce
4 ripe bartlett pears
2 or more cups apple juice or cider
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
2 star anise pods
pinch black peppercorns
fresh mint for garnish
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear so pears stand up.
- In a large saucepan, combine cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns, and apple cider.
- Add pears. Bring to a simmer. Cook, turning pears occasionally, until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes, depending on ripeness. Remove pears from liquid using a slotted spoon and transfer to large bowl. Pour the apple juice over pears and refrigerate. (Pears can also be served warm.)
- For the chocolate sauce, combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Turn heat to low and melt chocolate, stirring, until smooth. Serve pears drizzled with chocolate sauce and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.