Serve these burnished purple pears with crème fraîche (with stirred-in orange zest and sugar or honey, if you like), ice cream, blue cheese, or gingerbread. It’s best to prepare them ahead of time, so they soak up even more color and flavor from the cooking liquid. Using thick, syrupy molasses and honey removes the need to reduce the liquid prior to poaching the pears. Feel free to vary the type of honey; for instance, try Italian chestnut honey for a darker, more complex dish.
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To adapt a slow-cooker recipe to a conventional oven, follow these guidelines: add more liquid, to accommodate for greater evaporation; bring the dish to a boil over high heat in a Dutch oven, then cover the pot and put in a 350°F oven. Plan on the dish taking roughly half the time to cook in the oven as it would in the slow cooker.
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