Raspberry Poached Pears

Serves 8

1 1/4 cups sugar
4 long strips lemon zest
1 8 oz. package frozen

8 firm but ripe pears
fresh mint leaves for garnish
1/2 pint raspberries, picked over
In a large saucepan that holds pears in a single layer, bring sugar and 4 cups water to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar, add lemon zest and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree frozen raspberries in processor. Press through fine sieve to remove seeds. Stir into the syrup and remove from heat. Can be made a day in advance and chilled.
Peel pears and remove core through base with a vegetable peeler. Bring syrup to a simmer and add pears. Cook, turning several times for about 30 minutes, until still tender but firm.
Transfer to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Reduce syrup by one-third and strain over pears. Chill. Garnish with fresh mint and fresh raspberries.
(Louise Fiszer)