Poached pears with custard

Dietary
Vegetarian

Poached pears are easy to make. The spices, brandy and wine make this a wonderful Christmas indulgence.

By John Torode
From Saturday Kitchen

Ingredients

For the poached pears

  • 6 pears peeled and cored from the bottom
  • 1 x 750ml bottle red wine
  • 100ml/3½fl oz brandy
  • 70g/2½oz caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ lemon, strips of zest only
  • ½ orange, strips of zest only

For the custard

  • 400ml/14fl oz full-fat milk
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways
  • 6 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar or vanilla sugar
  • 30g/1oz plain flour
  • 20g/¾oz cornflour