We've also gone outside of the normal repertoire of winter desserts to show you what the humble pear is capable of delivering. Poached with sugar syrup, white wine and spices and left in the fridge to absorb the liquid, these will benefit from being prepared a day or two in advance. We've warmed up the dish with sultanas soaked in rum and served with ice cream.
|200 ml||White wine|
|500 g||Caster sugar|
|2||Vanilla pods, sliced down the middle, seeds scraped out, or 2 tsp vanilla essence|
|3||Star anise pods|
|3||Pears, ripe brown variety, peeled, sliced in half and cores removed (Main)|
|100 g||Sultanas, large golden variety, or standard raisins|
|1 to taste||Rum, of choice|
|6 sprinkles||Sliced almonds|
|6 scoops||Vanilla ice cream|
- For the poached pears, combine the water, white wine, sugar, vanilla, star anise, cloves and cinnamon in a pot and bring to the boil. Add the pears to the poaching liquid and simmer until the pears are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The pears can be done the day before and stored in the fridge, submerged in the poaching liquid until required (this allows them to absorb the flavours of the poaching liquid).
- For the rum sultanas, place the sultanas in a small saucepan and pour in some of the poaching liquid from the pears until the sultanas are just covered. Add rum to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and allow the sultanas to soak up the flavours (this can be done a day ahead and stored the same way as the pears).
- To serve, reheat the pears slightly on the stove top in the poaching liquid. Plate half a pear in a bowl, add a scoop of ice cream and spoon over the sultanas and rum mix. Sprinkle with a few sliced almonds and serve immediately. The dish can also be served with cold pears, if desired.
Check out Ray McVinnie's video on'How to make chocolate shards'