Monday, 21 December 2009

Pears poached in mulled wine, ginger cream

Serves four

6 comice pears
Bottle of red wine
Cinnamon stick, broken in two
Vanilla pod, slit in two lengthwise, with a sharp knife
5 cloves
Peel and juice of an orange
Two large mugfuls of sugar
Half a teaspoon grated nutmeg
One star anise

For the cream
Crystallized ginger in syrup (you buy it in a jar)
one knob of fresh ginger, peeled
Half a pot of single cream

Half the pears, top to bottom, and carefully peel them, cutting out the stalk and root. Using a teaspoon, neatly scoop out the core and discard. Pour the wine into the largest saucepan you have. Drop in the cinnamon, sugar, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, peel and orange juice. Stir very well. Lower in the pears. Put a plate on top, to keep them submerged. Bring to a simmer, put a lid on and allow to poach for 20 mins, turning once. Carefully take the pears out, arrange in a pretty bowl. Scoop out the cloves, orange peel and cinnamon stick, then bring the mulled wine to an aggressive boil and reduce by half. Pour the liquor over the pears. Serve warm or cold, with a bowl of ginger cream and a plate of Almond Thins to pass around.

For the ginger cream:
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Grate in a knob of fresh ginger and a knob of crystallized ginger, adding a large tablespoon of the syrup from the candied ginger. Fold together and keep in the fridge until you're ready.

Inspired by a recipe from The Kitchen Revolution. Picture from Apple Pie Patis and Pate.

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