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Lovely poached fruit with an intensified fruit flavour that mingles with the vanilla... the house smells like heaven and you can never wait for it to cool down, it is so good. Unfortunately poached fruit is often overcooked, contain way too much sugar and is sometimes so over spiced you cannot even taste the fruit only the spices. All that my mom ever used for poaching fruit was a little sugar and one vanilla bean. That’s because she had to poach more fruit for a family of seven plus three. I use only half a vanilla bean that I reuse several times for all kinds of dessert thingies requiring vanilla bean. As kids we used to drink the poaching liquid, but I prefer to boil it down and serve it with the fruit.

8 large pears
4 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Fruit Fresh
1/2 vanilla bean [keep it whole]

• Cut the pears in half and peel them.
• Scoop out the seeds with a melon scoop and neatly slice out the stringy part with a sharp pairing knife.
• Place the pears with the cut side down in a large skillet and cover with water.
• Add the sugar, Fruit Fresh and the vanilla bean.
• Place a metal pot liner or an aluminum pie plate on the top and weigh it down with a small saucepan. This will keep the pears submerged in water. [Bits of fruit not covered with water will turn brown.]
• Cook for 5 minutes.
• Remove fruit with a slotted spoon and transfer to a serving bowl.
• Remove the vanilla and set it aside to dry for some other use.
• Boil the poaching liquid down until almost syrupy. After 10 minutes keep a very close eye on it so the syrup won’t burn.
• Pour the reduced syrup over the pears and serve.



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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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