Tequila-Poached Pears with Chili-Chocolate SauceBy Chantal Braganza
Spoonably soft fruit and a velvety chocolate sauce get spiked with tequila and cayenne. Poach pears ahead of time for a quick dessert or skip the sauce and use a drinking chocolate mix instead, which is thicker than typical hot chocolate. Soma and ChocoSol make great Canadian options. —Chantal Braganza
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup white tequila
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 strips orange peel
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 firm Bosc pears , peeled, halved and cored
- 1/2 cup 36% cream
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Crushed pecans , optional
- Combine first six ingredients in a medium saucepan. Add pear halves. Cut a circular piece of parchment (slightly smaller in diameter than the saucepan) and place over pears to keep them submerged as they cook.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high, keeping at a simmer until pears are easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 min. Set aside to cool.
- Remove cinnamon, orange peel and cloves. Store pears and liquid together in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Before serving, remove pears from liquid and arrange in serving dishes. Boil liquid, reducing until about 1 ½ cups remain, 8 to 10 min. Remove from heat and whisk in cream, cocoa powder and cayenne. Slowly stir in chocolate chips, letting residual heat melt chocolate into a sauce. Set aside until slightly thickened, 5 min. Spoon sauce over pears; garnish with pecans if desired.
For a prettier presentation, slice a piece off the bottom of the pear halves to stand each upright.