Friday, 11 October 2013

Spiced Red Wine Pears in Pastry

To all my readers who are enjoying Autumn this time of the year,
this is just the perfect dessert for the season.

These pears are absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare.

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/4 cups caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cinnamon sticks
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon, in strips

2 star anise
6 pears, stems intact, peeled and cored
1 sheet puff pastry
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 30ml milk)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup red wine
handful sultanas or raisins
1/3 cup fresh cream, to serve

* In a saucepan with low heat, stir water, wine, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests and star anise until sugar has dissolved.
* Increase heat and add pears. Bring to simmer then reduce heat to low cover. Cook for 30 mins or until pears are tender. Remove pears, strain and reserve poaching liquid. Set aside to cool.
* Preheat oven to 220C. Cut pastry into 50cm strips.

* Place 1 pear on top of pastry strip, 4cm from end, then wrap whole pear by spiraling towards the top, overlapping pastry as you work your way up.
* Place pears on a lined baking tray and refrigerate at least 20 mins. When chilled, brush egg wash over pastry and bake until golden, about 25-30 mins.
* For the glaze, place sugar, wine and half of the poaching liquid over medium heat. Swirl pan until sauce is thick about 5-10 mins. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and cool.
* Place raisins or sultanas in remaining poaching liquid for a few mins to soften then scatter around the pears.
* Drizzle with glaze and serve with cream.

Recipe adapted from Chef Simon Bryant.

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