This gorgeous dessert recipe is taken from Rosemary Shrager’s upcoming book, Rosemary Shrager’s Cakes, Bakes & Puddings, due to be published in March 2014.
2 quantities of sugar syrup
2 strips of orange zest
4 star anise
4 pears, just about ripe
Put all the ingredients, apart from the pears, into a saucepan large enough to hold the fruit. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, carefully peel the pears, keeping them whole and with the stalks on. Using a thin, sharp knife, carefully remove the cores from the calyx end.
Add the pears to the pan, ensuring they are submerged in the syrup. Place a circle of greaseproof paper directly over the fruit and simmer for 20 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
Once cold, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a large serving bowl.
Pour the syrup into a saucepan and heat until reduced and thick. Strain through a sieve, allow to cool, then pour the syrup over the pears.
Rosemary’s top tip: “Try to find pears that are only just ripe for this dish. I go for plump pears such as Comice – unless I’m making this to serve as a garnish for meat dishes, in which case I use slender varieties such as Conference.”