Optimized from Cooking Light November 2003
Vanilla seeds perfume the syrup, making this simple yet elegant dessert a standout.
Time: 45 minutes plus chilling time
4 cups water
1 cup Stevia in the Raw
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
4 small firm Bosc pears
Combine the water and Stevia in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until Stevia dissolves. Add vanilla bean and cinnamon. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
Peel and core pears, leaving stems intact. Cut about ¼ inch from the base of each pear so they will sit flat. Add pears to sugar mixture. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender. Remove pears with a slotted spoon; chill thoroughly. Discard the cinnamon stick. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean using the back side of a table knife. Stir seeds into sugar mixture. Discard bean. Set aside 2 cups Stevia mixture; reserve remaining mixture for another use.
Return 2 cups Stevia mixture to pan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to ½ cup (about 12 minutes). Chill thoroughly. Serve sauce with pears at room temperature or chilled.
DO HEAD: Pears and Stevia mixute can be made a day ahead.
TIP: Refrigerate the extra poaching liquid for up to 3 months, add to sparkling water for a great mocktail.
Look for your pears ahead of time, if they are not ripe purchase pears a week ahead of serving, put in a brown paper bag and leave on counter top. They will ripen in no time!