Date and spice poached pears

Poached pears

4 pears, peel and trim bottom if required so that they stand straight for serving
(Firm pears will hold shape better)
4 C water
10 cardamom pods, bash in mortar and pestle to release seeds
1 cinnamon quill
1 Tb ground cinnamon
Zest of ½ Lemon
¾ C dates, chopped
Pinch sea salt
¼ C roasted almonds, crush in mortar and pestle

Place all ingredients, except almonds, in a saucepan with a lid.
Pears can lie on side to be submersed in liquid, turn through cooking time.
Cover and simmer on a medium heat for 30 min or until pears are tender.
Remove pears with a slotted spoon. Reduce liquid until it is approx. 1 cup.
Strain liquid through a fine sieve; pushing through sticky date pulp.
To serve pour sauce over pears and top with crushed almonds.
Serves 4

Cardamom belongs to the ginger family. It is a pod containing seeds, which have a spicy sweet flavor.