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Poached Pears

Here is our recipe for poached pears in apple juice, maple syrup, cloves, cinnamon, raisins and ginger....topped with yogurt.. from our astrology cookbook "Signs and Seasons." One of our favorite desserts… Use the pears of your choice. Crisp ones such as Bosc, Concorde or Seckel will take a little extra time softening than juicier varieties such as Anjou, Bartlett or Comice. Serves 4 1 cup apple juice or dessert wine 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon whole cloves 2 tablespoons fresh ginger slices 4 pears, peeled, cored, and quartered 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or cherries Combine the apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger slices in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the pears, bring to a slow boil, and simmer until the pears are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of pear used. Test by poking them carefully with a sharp knife. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat to medium-high and reduce the liquid by half. It should be quite syrupy by this point.  Discard the cinnamon stick, the cloves and the ginger slices. Add the raisins and simmer, covered, for a few minutes longer to plump them. To serve, place the pears in bowls and spoon the syrup over top. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of yogurt.

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