- 600ml port
- 140g caster sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks, halved
- 8 ripe but firm pears, peeled with the stalk intact
Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…
For the meringue cream
Pour the port into a large pan with 600ml water, add the sugar and cinnamon, then heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20-30 mins until tender all the way through. They are ready when a cocktail stick can be easily pushed through each one. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the pears in 2 batches using the same port syrup, or turn the pears several times as they cook so they become an even colour. Let the pears cool in their syrup, preferably overnight to allow the syrup to really stain them. Will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
Check the consistency of the syrup. If it is very thin, boil it in a pan to reduce the amount and concentrate the flavour.
To serve, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds its shape, then fold in the meringue. Sprinkle with the cinnamon. Arrange the pears in a shallow dish and spoon over the syrup. Allow guests to help themselves to both pears and cream.
Spice it up
For a more complex spicy flavour, add star anise and black peppercorns to the syrup.