Chai Spiced Poached Pears

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Chai spiced poached pears

Chai-maustetut keitetyt päärynät

I am already beginning to get into the Christmas mood.  As soon as it begins to get darker and the days shorter, I crave comforting winter foods.  These poached pears are simple to make, but work well as a dinner party dessert.  I have used christmassy chai spices to flavour the fruit – all spice, cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, coriander and star anise, marry perfectly with clementine zest and ground turmeric adds a beautiful golden colour.  Serve these with a few toasted nuts and some plant based yoghurt.

If you have any of the chai syrup left over, whisk it together with some hot milk to make a tasty chai latte!

Chai spiced poached pears – serves 4 – 6 

6 Conference Pears, peeled, cored and halved

85g sugar

2 black tea bags

1 clementine

4 cardamom pods, crushed

1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced

4 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

6 all spice berries

4 cloves

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

yoghurt and chopped toasted almonds to serve

In a wide pan add 500ml of boiling water, the sugar and the tea bags.  Bring to a simmer and allow the tea to brew for a few minutes.  Remove the tea bags and add the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds, all spice, cloves and turmeric.  Using a peeler, peel off large strips of clementine zest and add them to the pan.  Bring the pan to the boil and reduce to a simmer.

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Add the pear halves and poach at a slow simmer for anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on how ripe your pears were in the first place.  Your pears should be tender, but not falling apart.

Carefully remove the pears and set them to one side.  Bring the poaching syrup back to the boil and allow it to reduce by half.  Sieve to remove the spices and refrigerate to thicken.

Serve the pears with a generous drizzle of the syrup, some yoghurt and toasted almonds.

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