Honey poached pears with star anise
Let me start by confessing that this pear has not been shot in the proper season for poached pears… I shot it in the middle of summer as an experiment in lighting techniques.. I was very disappointed by the looks of my pear once poached and I will be doing this again with a dark pear! But… the reason I decided to share the recipe anyway is because it is absolutely delicious! Used with the right pear this – to me – is a real winner for a family dinner party or maybe even for Christmas! If you make it look a little nicer this would be a delicious and fairly light dessert for a heavy dinner party. I had never poached a pear before and because I was doing this for other purposes I picked a fairly simple recipe that did not require a lot of time standing over the stove, but boy… I did not expect it to taste so good!
- 1 cup honey
- 5 star anise whole ones
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 6 pieces pears firm pears, peeled, quartered and cored
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
Combine 2 1/2 cups water, honey, star anise, lemon juice, and sea salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add pears; reduce heat and simmer until tender, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on ripeness. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to medium bowl. Boil liquid and star anise until reduced to 1 cup syrup, about 22 minutes. Pour syrup with star anise over pears. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Remove star anise from syrup. Divide pears and syrup among 6 bowls. Top each with dollop of crème fraîche and serve.