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Poached pears with poached, spiced figs

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Poached pears with poached, spiced figs
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Poached, spiced figs

1

Bring all the ingredients but the figs to a simmer in a nonreactive saucepan. Add the figs and cook them at a very slight simmer until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the figs.

2

Remove the figs to a container with a slotted spoon, raise the heat, bring the syrup to a boil, and reduce by one-third. Pour it over the figs and chill. Keeps for 1 to 2 weeks.

Poached pears

1

Peel the pears, leaving the stems on. Core them with an apple corer, then slice a bit off the bottom so they cook upright. (Alternatively, you can halve them, remove the stems and core them.)

2

Bring 4 1/2 cups water, the sugar, lemon, vanilla and Poire William (if using) to a simmer in a large saucepan, then add the pears. Cook, covered, until the pears are tender but not mushy -- 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the pears.

3

When the pears are done, remove them from the poaching liquid and boil the remaining liquid until reduced by half. Pour the syrup over the pears and chill.

4

To serve, divide the poached pears among 6 bowls, and spoon one-sixth of the poached figs over each.

The poached, spiced figs are adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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