Maple-poached red pears with maple, orange syrup, candied nuts and chocolate

Poached in maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and spice, this is a beautiful dessert for fall. Add some dried fruit to the poaching liquid once it has reduced but not thickened for some extra flavour and colour on the plate. Use 1T of marmalade to replace the triple sec if desired.


Two pears, halved and cored (I used red anjou)
2 cups water
1/2 cup and 2T maple syrup
2t dried ground cinnamon
1t dried ground ginger
1/2t dried ground cloves
1T balsamic vinegar
2T triple sec*
1/2 cup soy milk
1T corn starch mixed with 1T water
4t nutritional yeast
2T slivered almonds
2T walnuts
2T cashews
1/4t sea salt (or to taste)
1T shaved chocolate for garnish


Bring the water to a very soft boil in a small sauce pan (one just large enough for the pears to fit).
Add the maple syrup and spices and let the infuse for 2-3 minutes.
Add the pears.
Gently poach for 20 minutes or until the pears are soft.
Remove from heat and let the pears cool for 15 minutes in the poaching liquid.
When cooled, remove the pears form the poaching liquid and set them aside.
Add the triple sec to the poaching liquid.
On medium heat, reduce the poaching liquid by three quarters (to about 1/2 cup).
Add the soy milk and bring to a simmer on medium heat (puree if necessary to homogenize).
Whisk together the corn starch and water.
Add the mixture slowly to the poaching liquid slowly stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes to cool.
Toss the nuts with the 2T of maple syrup and sea salt, and then stuff the pears with about 1T each.
Pour the syrup to the plate.
Plate the pears.
Sprinkle each pear half with 1t nutritional yeast.
Garnish with shaved chocolate.

*Many, but not all, spirits and liqueurs are produced without animal products during the filtration or other parts of the process.