Pears poached in perry, cardamom and chilli syrup with salted caramel sauce
For the poached pears
750ml Paracombe Premium Perry ‘Mysterious One’
175g golden caster sugar
1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
1 large cinnamon stick
1 small red birds’-eye chilli
10 cardamom pods
1 vanilla pod, split in half, seeds scraped out using a knife
4 firm Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, stalks intact
For the salted caramel sauce
300ml whipping cream
1 tsp sea salt crystals
- For the poached pears, find a saucepan large enough to fit the four pears snugly.
- Add the Perry, sugar, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom to the pan and bring to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the vanilla pod, vanilla seeds and pears to the pan, making sure the liquid covers the pears completely.
- Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper a little larger than the diameter of the pan. Place the circle over the pears, pressing it down so that it fits inside the pan.
- Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the pears are just tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool, then chill the pears, in their syrup, in the fridge, overnight if possible (they will keep for 1-2 days).
- When ready to serve the pears, strain 200ml of the cooled syrup into a pan (discard the collected vanilla pod, cardamom pods, ginger and cinnamon stick).
- Bring the syrup to the boil, reduce the heat until it is simmering and continue to simmer until the liquid has thickened to a gloopy syrup and reduced in volume by half.
- Whisk in the whipping cream and cook to heat for a further 1-2 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle over the salt crystals.
- To serve, carefully remove the pears from the remaining syrup. Slice the bottom off each pear so that each can be stood upright on a plate. Spoon over a tablespoon of the remaining poaching syrup. Drizzle over the salted caramel sauce.
Recipe adapted from BBC.co.uk