*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Desserts                         Fruits/nuts
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1       sm           Pineapple
    8       sm           Thin-skinned seedless
                         Oranges or tangerines
    1 1/4   c            Sugar, approximately
                         Half a vanilla bean, split
    1                    Star anise pod
    2       tb           Orange liqueur
    3       md           Pears, such as Bartlett
    4       c            Dry red wine
                         -----BOUQUET GARNI-----
   12                    Fresh mint leaves OR
    2       ts           High-quality peppermint
                         -tea leaves
    1                    Cinnamon stick
    1       t            Whole black peppercorns
      1/2   ts           Cardamon seeds
                         -----TO FINISH-----
    1       tb           Plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
      1/2   c            Creme fraiche
      1/4   c            Heavy cream (approximately)
                         Fresh mint leaves, garnish
   1.  Using a large sharp knife, trim off the top and bottom of the pineapple
   and slice off the skin.  Using the tip of a vegetable peeler, remove the
   eyes.  Quarter the pineapple lengthwise and core it.  Slice each quarter
   crosswise 1/2 thick, then cut enough slices into bite-sized pieces to make
   1 cup.  Reserve balance of the pineapple for another use. 2. In a large
   saucepan of simmering water, scald the oranges for 5 seconds. Refresh under
   cold running water; pat dry.  Pick out the orange with the nicest skin.
   Using a sharp knife, cut it crosswise into very thin slices; save any
   juices.  Using a vegetable peeler, strip the zest from 3 of the remaining
   oranges; cut it into very thin strips; set aside. 3. Juice the 3 zested
   oranges.  Add enough water to make 1 1/4 cups and pour into a medium
   nonreactive saucepan.  Stir in the 1 1/4 cups suage and the orange slices
   and their juices.  Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean with the tip of
   a knife and set aside.  Add the bean and star anise pod to the saucepan and
   bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover,
   reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently until the white of the orange
   slices begins to turn translucent and the syrup takes on a rich amber
   color, about 1 hour.  Add a few tablespoons of water if the syrup thickens
   too much before the slices are translucent. Strain the syrup and add enough
   water to make 3/4 cup.  Reserve the orange slices; discard the star anise
   and the vanilla bean. 4. While the orange slices are cooking, using a small
   sharp knife, peel the remaining 4 oranges, removing all the bitter white
   pith.  Working over a nonreactive bowl, cut in between the membranes to
   release the orange sections. Squeeze the membranes to extract all the
   juice.  Add the cut pineapple and orange liqueur. Set aside to macerate
   until ready to assemble the soup. 5. Peel, halve and core the pears. Slice
   them crosswise 1/3-inch thick. 6. In another medium nonreactive saucepan,
   boil the red wine over high heat until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 12
   minutes.  Stir in the reserved orange syrup and orange zest and the bouquet
   garni (tie all ingredients in the listing for the bouquet garnet in
   cheesecloth before using).  Bring to a simmer over moderately low heat. Add
   the pears and poach until wine-colored and tender when pierced with a
   knife, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfers the pears to a
   plate to cool. 7. If desired, add another teaspoon or so of sugar to the
   wine mixture. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water and whisk
   into wine. Return to a boil over high heat; boil for 1 minute to thicken.
   Pour the soup into another nonreactive container; let cool slightly; then
   cool completely in refrigerator. Squeeze the bouquet garni gently; discard.
   8.  In a food processor, puree the reserved candied orange slices and
   vanilla bean seeds.  Add the creme fraiche and blend.  Thin with the heavy
   cream to a semi-liquid consistency. 9. To assemble the soup: Place the
   poached pear slices in chilled shallow bowls or rimmed soup plates. Scatter
   the orange sections and pineapple pieces evenly on top. Ladle 1/4-cup of
   the soup over each serving. Place a dollop of the creme fraiche mixture in
   the center of each bowl and garnish with a mint leaf. Makes 6-8 servings.
   NOTE:  If you buy organic oranges or tangerines, you don't need to follow
   the scalding procedure in Step 2.
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