spicy poached pear

There are so many easy, great tasting desserts, giving you the opportunity to use fruits that are in season. Fruit, not only eggs and fish, are a natural choice for immersion in a simmering, warm bath. During poaching the luscious fruits are infused with amazing flavours and your home lingering with enticing, beautiful aromas.
Pears hold up really well during poaching and retain their beautiful shape. What i love about poaching pears is that they sit beautifully atop a tart or on a plate, enveloping a beautiful syrup or sabayon.
I peel the pears and leave the stems attached to their long giraffe like necks, making the visual presentation the perfect dessert temptation.
Serve these little beauties alongside homemade ice cream or freshly whipped cream or creme Chantilly with some toasted nuts for added texture.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
4 pears, peeled
3c water
150g castor sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut open lengthways
1/2c brandy
3 orange zest peels
pinch of saffron
4 cardamom pods, crushed
2 cloves
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill

how to do it
Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the bottoms of the pears. (Cut into the flesh and remove the small black stems at the bottom)
Combine all of the ingredients except the pears in a deep pot / skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and gently lower the pears into the poaching liquid.
Make a cartouche using baking paper. Simply cut a hole in the centre of the baking paper and place the paper on top of the pot / skillet to form a ‘lid’ of sorts. This will allow only a small amount of liquid to evaporate during poaching.
Poach the pears until soft, about 15-20 minutes depending on the pears and the size.
Remove pot / skillet from the heat, discard the cartouche and leave the pears to sit in the poaching liquid for at least 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pears and set aside.
Strain the poaching liquid into a clean pot and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook until reduced and thickened.

When ready to serve, drizzle the pears with the lovely gold liquid.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

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