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Spicy cranberry compote topped with vanilla-flavoured pears

Difficulty: Medium

6

Servings

35

Preparation (min)

35

Total (min)

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup (250 ml) plain firm yogourt (3% or 4% M.F.)
  • 3 very ripe Bartlett pears
  • 7 oz. (200 g) dark chocolate
  • 1 lb. (500 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) organic cane sugar
  • 1-2 pinches Chinese five-spice powder (equal parts Sichuan pepper, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and fennel)

Preparation

VANILLA-FLAVOURED PEARS

  1. Slice vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scrape vanilla seeds from each side of the bean and combine with yogurt. If possible, do this step the evening before so vanilla flavour has a chance to infuse the yogourt.
  2. Wash pears and cut into 5/8 in. (1.5 cm)–cubes, and then add to yogourt. Refrigerate until time of assembly.
  3. With a knife, finely chop half the chocolate into slivers. Set aside.

SPICY CRANBERRY COMPOTE

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook cranberries with water, cane sugar and five-spice powder.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Crush half the cranberries with a fork directly in the saucepan, and then blend mixture vigorously.
  4. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Divide compote evenly into six glasses.
  2. Top with chocolate slivers. Spoon pear-vanilla mixture on top of chocolate, dividing equally.
  3. Keep refrigerated until serving.
  4. Just before serving, melt rest of chocolate in a double-boiler and drizzle on top of each portion.

CHEF'S NOTE

"I like to prepare light and refreshing desserts that have an original touch—like the mixture of five Chinese spices in this recipe, which gives the cranberry compote a distinctive, exotic flavour. This mix of five spices is also known as the “five fragrances.” It brings together the five flavours that the Chinese consider to be required for a balanced dish: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and spicy. This spice mix is sold as a prepared powder that’s brownish-red in colour. It’s available in Asian and other food stores".

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