Spiced Poached Pears

Poached pears are no only easy to prepare but also look and taste great too. They can be stored in their syrup in a well sealed storage jar in the refrigerator for up to in a week in advance, making them an excellent stand-by dessert.

Portions: 6-12 portions

Preparation: 10-15 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Spiced Poached Pears

  • 6-12 pears, firm and just riped
  • 1.5 litres light-medium red wine
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger
  • clotted cream or thick cream to serve
  • mint leaves and icing sugar to garnish

Method

Pears

  1. Place the red wine, caster sugar, chillies and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave it to simmer for 15 minutes so the flavours infuse.
  2. Peel the pears and remove the core with a sharp knife or decoreer. Place the pears in the syrup and reduce the temperature to just a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to cool.
  3. Serve or store pears in a sealed container with the cooking liquid in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Sauce

  1. Put 300-500ml of the pear cooking syrup into a small saucepan over a high heat. Bring the syrup to the boil and leave it to reduce to a sticky syrup (this will take 8-10 minutes). If the syrup is too sticky simply add a little more stock.

To Serve

  1. Drizzle a little syrup over the plates or bowls. Place the pears in the centre and a spoonful of cream. Garnish the cream with a mint leaf and sprinkle icing sugar around each dish.

Tips

  • For a variation on this dessert tray adding star anise and cardamon pods.
  • You could make this dish savoury by using a dry red or white wine as the poaching liquid and serving it with a salad of baby spinach, stilton cheese and walnuts with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • The cooking syrup can be reused. Strain it and place in a sealed container, and store in the refrigerator for up to three months or freeze for 6 months. Bring to the boil before using it again.