Apparently October is National Caramel Month. They seem to have a day and a month for everything – not just a National Pizza Day but a National Sausage Pizza day!? Caramel though seems like a great one to get a whole month to itself and I’m definitely not going to complain about another reason to pour it over everything in the name of national pride. Drizzling it over these delicately flavored poached pears made an already amazing dessert even better. This caramel sauce is one of the newest products from our friend Nicole, founder of The Caramel Jar. It is scrumptiously decadent – if you’ve ever tasted her Fleur de Sel Caramels, you’ll know what to expect.
After a little bit of fuss peeling and coring, the pears really just cook away with almost no work on your part and look almost majestic when displayed on a platter. Perfect for a dinner party as they can be made days in advance – refrigerating them in their sauce only makes them taste better!
Earl Grey Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce
6 cups of brewed Earl Grey Tea
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons, plus peel of 1 lemon
1 orange peel, peeled into large strips
6 ripe pears, peeled and cored (try to leave the stem intact)
Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
1. Brew Earl Grey tea and pour into a saucepan wide enough to hold the pears in a single layer.
2. Over medium-high heat, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Then add the lemon juice, lemon and orange peels and finally the pears.
3. Bring the liquid to a simmer then cover, reduce the heat and cook the pears until tender (approximately 30 minutes but cooking time will vary depending on pear’s ripeness). Test with a pairing knife.
4. Once pears are done, scoop them out with a slotted spoon or spatula onto a serving dish and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can slice a small amount from the bottom of each pear to leave a flat bottom so they stand up straight.
5. Remove the zest from the poaching liquid and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to boil until mixture has reduced to 1 cup of liquid. Allow syrup to cool.
6. Plate poached pears and drizzle with syrup. Serve with fleur de sel caramel sauce and crème fraiche.