Mulled poached pears
1 teaspoons, level
Light Brown Sugar
Cloves, Whole or Ground
Half Fat Crème Frâiche
4 tablespoons, level
Toasted Flaked Almonds
- Pour the wine into a medium pan and add 175ml water. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla extract and sugar. Halve the orange and stud the skin of one half with the cloves. Juice the remaining half and put both the studded half and the juice into the pan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Just as it begins to simmer, turn off the heat and set aside for 1 hour for the flavours to infuse.
- Meanwhile, peel the pears leaving the stalk intact. Halve lengthways and remove the core using a teaspoon.
- Strain the mulled wine into a jug and remove the orange and whole spices. Return the wine to the pan and bring to a gentle boil. Add the pear halves and lower the heat. Cover with a scrunched up piece of baking paper to keep the fruit submerged and simmer for 10 minutes until just tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquor for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the fruit has taken on colour. If making a day ahead, transfer to the fridge once cool.
- Lift the pears out of the pan and transfer to a plate. Return the mulled wine to the stove, placing over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and bubble for 10-12 minutes until reduced to about 200ml.
- Mix the arrowroot with 1 tbsp cold water. Lower the heat for the wine and stir in the arrowroot mixture until it thickens and becomes a glossy, spoonable sauce. To serve, arrange 2 pear halves on a plate with 1 tbsp crème fraiche, drizzle over the sauce and scatter with the almonds.