A classic light, spiced Christmas pudding – Poached pears with cinnamon creme anglaise . This desert literally melts in your mouth and will have your dinner guests groaning with pure delight.
4 pears 1 vanilla pod, split in half 150g sugar 2 strips lemon peel crème anglaise: 250ml milk 150ml single cream 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 3 egg yolks 40g sugar
To poach the pears, put 1.5 litres water in a large heavy saucepan. Add the sugar, half a vanilla pod and lemon peel. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Peel the pears, leaving the stalks intact and place in the syrup. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from the heat and allow the pears to cook in the syrup. Meanwhile, to make the crème anglaise, heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan, with the other half of vanilla pod and cinnamon. Bring slowly to the boil. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Pour the hot milk and cream over the egg yolks and stir well. Pour the mixture back into the pan and stir over a low to medium heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Serve the pears with the custard.
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes