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 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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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!