Poached Pears powered with Sweet Green Tea

Ingredients

12 Madura Sweet Green Tea pyramid tea bags
1 cup sugar
3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 x 8cm strips orange peel
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 firm but ripe Bosc pears
Whipped mascarpone cheese, creme fraiche, or heavy cream – whatever takes your fancy!

Method

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cut out a baking paper circle the diameter of your saucepan; set aside. Add the bags to boiling water, remove saucepan from heat, and let steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing excess liquid into the saucepan, and discard. Add sugar, ginger, orange peel, vanilla pod and vanilla seeds to the tea; stir to dissolve sugar. Bring tea mixture to a simmer over medium high heat; brew for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems intact. Using a melon baller, carefully scoop out the seeds and core from the bottom of each pear. Add pears to saucepan; reduce heat maintaining a gentle simmer. Cover pears with the parchment-paper circle to keep them submerged. Cook until just tender, about 20 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove pears. Strain cooking liquid; discard solids. Return cooking liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes.
Place pears on plates and spoon about 2 tablespoons syrup over each pear. Serve with a dollop of your favourite accompaniment. Any remaining syrup can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Drizzle over ice cream, if desired – delish!