Pears poached in white wine with honey, star anise and cinnamon
Poached pears make an attractive dessert for entertaining which are low in fat but full in flavor, try substituting the sugar for your favorite low calorie sweetener for an even lighter version of this dessert. Going in the opposite direction, try serving with a good quality vanilla bean ice cream to make this dish more indulgent
Yield (serves): 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 cups (480 ml) sweet white wine
3 cups (720 ml) water
1 cinnamon stick
1vanilla pod/bean (substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoons lemon juice
4 large pears, peeled with stems left intact
1 Star anise
1 cup (225 g) white sugar
4 tablespoons honey
1. Stir together the white wine, water, cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat and add the prepared pears. Poach the pears, uncovered, for 7 to 9 minutes, until they turn tender, but not mushy.
3. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pears onto a serving plate.
4. Strain the cooking liquor through a sieve and place 500 ml of the liquid back in the pan to make the syrup, discard the rest.
5. Return the poaching liquid to a simmer, add the sugar and honey, and allow the mixture to reduce by 2 thirds, which will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
6. The syrup is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
7. Arrange the pears on individual serving plates and drizzle with the wine syrup.
Serve the pears with Greek yoghurt or low fat crème fraiche for a more luxurious taste
Substitute the sugar with the equivalent measure of artificial sweetener for an even healthier option
Classic Wine: Coteaux du Layon Chenin Blanc, Riesling Alsace.
New World: Late Harvest Semillon.