1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond-flavor liqueur (such as Amaretto)
6 firm, ripe pears, stems attached
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
toasted blanched slivered almonds, for garnish
In a large saucepan, bring the cranberries and 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a blender or food processor, puree the mixture, in batches. Return it to the saucepan, add the sugar and 1/3 cup of liqueur, then stir. Peel the pears carefully, leaving the stem attached. Cut a small slice from the bottom of each pear so that it can stand upright. Place the pears in the cranberry-liqueur mixture, bring to a simmer, then cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the pears to a bowl and set them aside. Bring the cranberry-liqueur mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. Pour the cranberry-liqueur syrup over the pears, cover, and refrigerate. Turn the pears occasionally. To serve, remove the pears from the syrup and blot lightly. Spoon the sauce into serving dishes and place a pear on each one. In a large, chilled bowl, whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of liqueur. Serve with the pears. Garnish pears with mint sprigs and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.