Rioja poached pears
- 75cl Extra Special Rioja
- 100ml Extra Special Whisky
- 1L Extra Special Smooth Orange Juice
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ orange, zest of
- 6 Conference pears
- 50ml Extra Special Cream
- 150g unsalted walnuts
- 150g unsalted pecans
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
Put the Rioja, whisky and orange juice in a saucepan. Add the sugar, star anise, cinnamon, cardamon and orange zest. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Peel the pears. Trim the bases so they sit flat. Put in the pan so they remain submerged. Increase the heat until the odd bubble rises to the surface. Poach the pears until tender – about 20-30 minutes.
Insert a melon baller at the base, removing a little at a time until the core has been removed, leaving the stalk intact.
Strain the syrup. Return to the pan, bring to the boil and reduce by 3/4. When you’re happy with the flavour, leave to cool. The pears will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To prepare the nut coating pre-heat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Spread the walnuts and pecans on a baking sheet. Toast the nuts until light golden brown.
Melt the butter in a small pan. Remove from heat. Stir in the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar and salt. Put in a large bowl. Pour on the butter mixture and stir.
Fill each pear with Extra Special Cream. Roll in the crushed spiced nuts and serve with Rioja reduction.
Please drink responsibly. For the facts, visit drinkaware.co.uk.