As I note in my profile, I am a terrible baker. For this week's theme I wanted to bake something for dessert with cardamom. Well, last night I tried to bake orange zest-cardamom scones, great flavor combo I thought. So I began to mix the ingredients in my food processor, but realized I had no eggs and it was too cold to go outside to get any from the store. Being the non-baker I am, I just used water instead of the egg...well it turned out just as you thought, badly! The scones did not rise and I was left with nothing. I then moved on to a dessert that required no baking, poached pears...one of my favorite desserts. This recipe is so very easy and such a beautiful winter dessert. Hope you enjoy! I promise, one day maybe I will become not only a chef but a baker as well. —Table9
In a large saucepan, combine wine, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Heat over medium-high and add the cider, cardamom pods, mint leaves and lemon zest. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Rub pears with the Meyer Lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Slice a small portion of the cored end to create a flat surface. Lay the pears on their sides in the poaching liquid. Place a piece of parchment paper over the pot with a hole cut out of it in the center to release the steam.
Increase saucepan heat to a low boil and poach pears for 15-25 minutes, depending on the pear. Remove the pears from the heat and let them cool in their own liquid. While liquid is still warm add the dried currants and allow them to plump.
Serve the pears warm topped with the dried currants and fresh mint sprig for garnish. Add a spoonful of creme fraiche or vanilla bean ice cream on the side.