Chai Spice Poached Pears with Chai Sorbet
- Author: Kelly Egan - A Side of Sweet
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 4-inch piece of ginger, in thin slices
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 8 peppercorns
- 2 vanilla beans, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2-star anise
- 3 whole allspice
- 10 cloves
- 20 cardamom pods, lightly smashed
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 8 cups water
- 6 teaspoons loose black tea (6 tea bags)
- 4–6 pears (my favorite is Bosc, followed by Anjou or Bartlett)
For the ganache:
- 3/4 cup poaching liquid
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 1 cup of chocolate chips)
For the chai sorbet:
- 1/4 c. reserved poaching liquid
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Uncooked egg, washed with soap and water
- Combine all spices (except black tea) in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add black tea. Let steep 15 additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the pears and remove the core with a melon baller starting from the bottom. Leave the stem intact.
- Strain spices out of the liquid and return liquid to pot. Add pears and return to a boil. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to one hour until the thickest part of the pear is tender when poked with a toothpick. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on a baking rack covered with parchment paper. Reserve the poaching liquid for the ganache and sorbet. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Once ready to serve, make the ganache: combine 1/4 cup poaching liquid and bittersweet chocolate
- To make the chai sorbet: Pour the leftover poaching liquid in a fine mesh strainer and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Prepare simple syrup by heating sugar and water in a saucepan and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a well cleaned-uncooked egg, add simple syrup to the poaching liquid until a portion of the egg the size of a quarter emerges above the surface of the mixture. This is how you know your sorbet will be smooth and not freeze into a solid brick!
- To assemble: Rewarm the poached pears if needed. Drizzle with chai chocolate ganache and serve with a scoop of chai sorbet.
Tips: Less ripe pears work best as they take longer to soften and therefore have a stronger flavor.