For the Poached Pears
3 Bosc pears
Tea to cover (rooibos, chai, or any tea with spice)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Halve pears and cut out core and seeds.
Heat tea with brown sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise in a medium saucepan to dissolve sugar.
Add pear halves, and cook until tender, approximately ten minutes.
Steep pears in tea for at least a half hour.
Remove pears to a bowl, and reheat tea to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, or until thickened. Remove cinnamon stick and anise, and reserve this syrup to cover shortcakes.
2 tea bags chai tea, optional
11/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon quatre epices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, and ginger)
Heat the cream to scalding, and add the tea bags, if using, to steep. Allow to cool. If not using the tea, there is no need to heat the cream.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, quatre epices, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cooled cream and mix until just combined.
Drop mounds of dough approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup large onto the pan.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crispy and brown on top.
Remove shortcakes from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly.
Split each shortcake in half horizontally.
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whip cream in a mixer until just before soft peaks are formed.
Add cinnamon, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla.
Finish beating until fluffy.
To assemble the dessert
Lay a pear half and some of its syrup onto each plated shortcake bottom.
Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top.
Spoon more syrup over the top of biscuit and serve.
Rockport resident Heather Atwood writes the Food for Thought column weekly. Questions and comments may be directed to email@example.com. Follow her blog at HeatherAtwood.com.