Easy, peasy: that’s what this dessert is. It might look a little complicated, but rest assured that it is incredibly simple to make, so do not hesitate, and do not be intimidated. A little bit of work for a beautiful, fancy dessert – what could be better than that?
Spiced Poached Pears With Berry Coulis [Vegan]
- 4 firm fleshed pears (such as Bosc)
- 6 cups apple cider
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cashew cream, for garnish (optional)
- 4 cups raspberries, strawberries, or a mixture of both
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To Make the Pears:
- Combine the apple cider, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice and vanilla extract into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer to allow the flavors to infuse, about five minutes.
- Peel the pears. Add them, with more cider (or water), if needed, to cover them. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and poach, uncovered, until soft when pierced with a toothpick, about 30-40 minutes, depending on size. Gently remove the pears from the liquid and set aside to cool.
- Raise the heat and boil the syrup until reduced to about 1 cup, about 40 minutes. Strain the solids out, and transfer the syrup to a glass container to store in the fridge for later use (the syrup tastes great added to sparkling water for a special drink, or drizzled over oatmeal or porridge in the morning, for example).
To Make the Coulis:
- Add the berries, sweetener (if using) and vanilla to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mason jar and set aside. If a sweeter taste is desired, mix in some of the cider syrup, to taste.
- Drizzle the coulis onto each plate in a circle. Stand a pear upright onto each plate.
- Serve immediately.
The little white dots on the coulis are made from cashew cream – just add a few drops all around the plate, then, using a toothpick, draw a little "tail" into the design. Simple but pretty.