A delicious, light desert. Also easy to make and can be made in advance. The pears will keep for well over a week if kept in the syrup.
8 Bartlett pears
1/2 cup honey
1 Yunnan pepper
13 black peppercorns
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half
Zests of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
2 star anise.
4 cup of water + enough to fill a large bowl
1. In a large soup pot, combine 4 cups of water with the honey, spices, orange peel and the juice of half a lemon. Warm gently and stir until the honey is dissolved.
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of half a lemon.
3. Peel the pears, slice in half and remove the core.
4. Put the pears in the water with the lemon juice. This prevents them from changing color.
5. Once all the pears are ready transfer them to the spiced liquid. Try to keep them in an even layer.
6. Using the lid of a smaller pot, push them into the liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pears are tender when poked with the toothpick but still holding their shape.
7. Allow to cool in the syrup, then cover the pot and cool completely in the refrigerator.
8. When ready to serve, heat about 1 cup of the syrup and reduce to about 1/3 cup.
9. Transfer the syrup to a double boiler and melt some chocolate into the syrup.
10. Spoon the warm chocolate sauce over the cold pears.