- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 10 whole cloves
- 5 cardamom seeds
- 2 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 Bartlett pears, peeled
- 8 ounces premium dark chocolate (Can substitute semi-sweet or milk chocolate based on preferred taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sliced California Almonds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Juice the lemon and orange. Put juice, wine, water, honey, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaf in a wide saucepan. Gently place the peeled pears into the liquid.
Make a circle of parchment paper that is 1/2-inch larger than the pot, and cover surface completely with the parchment paper. Be sure the pears are fully submerged, but not touching the bottom of the pot. Bring the poaching liquid and pears to a boil and then reduce the heat to just below a simmer.
While the pears are poaching, roast almonds in oven until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.
Cook the pears until fork-tender. Gently transfer pears into a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour enough poaching liquid over pears to just cover. Cover and refrigerate until cool, preferably overnight.
Strain about 2 cups of the remaining poaching liquid and return to saucepan. Cook over high heat until a syrupy consistency is achieved or the syrup coats the back of a spoon. Chill until the pears are served.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Dip each cooled pear into the melted chocolate and then roll in sliced almonds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set, approximately 30 minutes. Lightly drizzle with reduced poaching liquid and serve at room temperature.