Blushing Pomegranate Pears Turkey Pomegranates are plentiful in the Mediterranean, and you often find the trees growing in backyard gardens. The tart, sweet juice is now widely available in bottles. Mixed with seltzer, it makes a very refreshing drink, and I also like it for poaching fruit such as peeled pears, which turn a soft pink color as they cook.
Serves 8 •⅔ cup sugar •2 cups pomegranate juice •2 3-inch strips orange zest •10 whole black peppercorns •8 firm ripe pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, peeled •2 tablespoons chopped unsalted pistachios or sliced almonds
In a large slow cooker, stir together the sugar and juice. Add the orange zest and peppercorns. Place the pears upright in the cooker and spoon some of the liquid over them. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until the pears are ten- der when pierced with a knife. Carefully transfer the pears to a serving dish. Strain the juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Bring the juices to a simmer and cook until thickened and reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour the syrup over the pears. Chill until serving time. Just before serving, sprinkle the pears with the nuts.
The Mediterranean Slow Cooker
By Alan Richardson and Michele Scicolone