Recipe Raphaella Frame Styling Roger Mann Photograph Russell Smith
6 firm pears
750ml red wine
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup caster sugar
peel of one small lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
for the crème anglaise
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
extra cream, for consistency
Peel the pears, leaving the stalks intact. Place the red wine in a large saucepan with the orange juice and sugar, and simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise. Add the pears and stir gently to coat with the liquid, then arrange them with the stalks facing upwards, cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the pears are tender.
Allow them to cool in the syrup, then remove with a slotted spoon.
Strain the syrup and return it, uncovered, to the heat. Bring it to the boil and allow it to bubble until it has reduced to about three-quarters of a cup and has thickened into a syrup.
Place the milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the milk. Bring the mixture to the boil and immediately remove it from the heat. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a heat- proof bowl and whisk in a little of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs. Add the remaining milk and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add a little cream for a more liquid consistency. Remove from the heat and chill.
Flood each serving dish with the red wine syrup. Place a pear in the centre of each dish and drizzle the crème anglaise on top. Serve with extra crème anglaise on the side.
This recipe is from the February 2012 House and Leisure Food issue.