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Pears poached in caramel fennel syrup

This is a very very simple but elegant recipe that you can easily put together to impress in-laws or when friends drop over.

I love combining fruit with decadent toppings.  In this case this is a classic poached pear recipe with a twist.  In fact, the caramel syrup was a complete accident.  I intended to just reduce the liquid and serve it clear but I left the stove to do some other things and when I cam back it was caramel!  But the result was amazing.  The fennel adds that extra dimension as well along with the nutmeg.  And if you’ve never had grated cardamom on your vanilla ice cream then you haven’t really lived.  This really lifts the ice cream and gives it a more exotic flavour.

Poached Pears – Serves 4
4 tall pears peeled, halved and cored
3/4 cup sugar
fresh grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1/2 water 1/2 white wine to cover
vanilla ice cream
grated cardamom

1. Place all ingredients into a pot or pan and bring to a gentle boil.  Cook until a knife runs through the pears easily.
2. Lift pears out of poaching liquid and put in fridge to cool.
3. Add another 1/4 cup sugar to poaching liquid and bring back to gentle boil.  Let it simmer until reduce and take off heat when it’s turned a light caramel brown.  Make sure not to over cook it or it will be like sticky taffy!  Allow to cool slightly before serving.
4. Drizzle some syrup into the bottom of a bowl or glass.  Place 2 pear halves and a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream and top with grated cardamom.


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