- 6 firm pears, peeled
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- a handful of toasted flaked almonds
- 100g crème fraîche mixed with a drop of vanilla essence
- 6 shortbread thins
Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds, and place the pod and seeds in a large saucepan with the wine, sugar, cinnamon and thyme.
Poach the pears over a medium-low heat, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until tender throughout, ensuring they remain covered with the wine.
Remove the cooked pears from the pan, then bring the poaching liquor to the boil and reduce it by half the original volume until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
When ready to serve, plate up a whole pear per person with the cooled syrup. Scatter with toasted almonds and serve with the crème fraîche and the shortbread thins.