This elegant, low-fat dessert is perfect for special occasions. You can cover pears and sauce separately and refrigerate for up to two days. In this case, serve pears cold, but reheat sauce for one minute in the microwave.
2 cups water
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 strips orange peel from medium-size orange. (Zest the remaining peel for chocolate sauce)
3 large fresh, firm pears (Anjou, Bartlett, or Comice), peeled, halved, and seeded
2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to1 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier)
pinch of ground nutmeg
1) Combine water, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel in a large sauce pan or skillet. Mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2) Add pears. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until pears are just tender, but still firm, about 10 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a large bowl.
3) Boil poaching liquid until reduced to half, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Pour 2 tablespoons poaching liquid over pears in bowl.
5) To remaining poaching liquid, add cocoa powder and remaining orange zest. Whisk well until chocolate melts and sauce is smooth.
6) Return chocolate sauce to medium-high heat. Whisk chocolate sauce to a gentle boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla and orange liqueur, stir well.
7) Place 1 pear half on each plate. Sprinkle with nutmeg, and drizzle with warm chocolate-orange sauce. Makes 6 servings, one half pear each.
Nutritional Analysis per serving: 124 Calories; 4 percent fat (< 1 gram); 0 gram saturated fat; 2 percent protein; 93 percent carbohydrate; 3.7 grams fiber.
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