Angela’s dessert recipe from Come Dine With Me Australia, series 1.
Peel and core pears – leaving on the stems, (cutting a flat section on bottom so the pear sits upright) and dip in lemon juice (once peeled to stop browning or oxidation of pear flesh)
Place caster sugar, wine, water, star anise, vanilla pod (split open with seeds scraped into mixture also), cinnamon sticks and remaining lemon juice into large saucepan. Bring to boil and dissolve sugar and then turn to low heat. Add the pears standing up into the saucepan (they should be covered in liquid except for the stems). Simmer on low heat and poach the pears for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (until tender – if stem pulls out, they are overcooked – start again). Remove the pears from the spiced wine sauce and set aside. Reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon.
For the Butterscotch Sauce, gently melt 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, add the brown sugar and gently melt. Once fully melted and caramel formed, slowly add the cream (not fast or the sugar will set into a toffee) and whisk vigorously to blend. You may want to add more cream – it is up to your taste. Ready to serve.
Prior to serving, reheat the spiced wine sauce and place the pears into mixture (with lid) and reheat for about 3 minutes.
For Plating (warm dish for pear and red wine sauce), take the pears and pour over about 2 tbsp of the spiced wine sauce (or more if you have sufficient sauce) per serving. Serve the butterscotch sauce in a separate sauce boat and a tbsp of double cream per person on a separate small dish to accompany the pear.