Try Rosemary Shrager’s recipe for pears in aniseed syrup

Try Rosemary Shrager’s recipe for pears in aniseed syrup

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.

Serves 4.

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.”