Easy and beautiful. Served with the classic Creme Anglaise. Serves 6.

6 Pears, slightly underripe 6
4 cups Water 1 L
2 cup Sugar 500 mL
1 tsp Lemon rind 5 mL
1 tbsp Lemon juice 15 mL
1 Cinnamon stick 1
3 whole Cloves 3 whole

1 cup Milk 250 mL
1/2 cup Heavy cream 125 mL
1 inch piece Vanilla bean 2 1/2 cm piece
6 tbsp Sugar 90 mL
4 Large egg yolks 4
2 tsp Cornstarch 10 mL

Peel pears, leaving stems on if desired. Drop them immediately into cold water containing a little lemon juice to prevent them from darkening.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring the water, sugar, lemon juice and lemon rind to a boil. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and the pears. Cover and keep the syrup at a rolling boil, which keeps the pears moving and cooking evenly, until the pears are tender. This should take about 30 minutes, depending on the ripeness and size of the pears. When finished cooking they should be slightly translucent, and easily pierced with a kitchen fork. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer pears to a shallow, flat bottomed dish. Stand them up if possible so the keep their shape; they are very pliable and apt to flatten out slightly if they lie on their sides. If necessary, trim the bottoms to help them stand up. Pour a little of the syrup over the pears, cover and chill for several hours.


Combine the milk, cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, but do not boil; remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to let absorb the flavor of the vanilla bean.

In a small bowl beat the sugar into the egg yolks, and continue beating for about 3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy. Beat in the cornstarch. Stir the milk-and-cream mixture into the egg yolks, beating vigorously with a wire whisk.

Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook it over very low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is quite thick and coats the back of a silver spoon. This will take about 15 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and cool, stirring frequently. Remove vanilla bean, cover the custard sauce and chill thoroughly.

Source: Great Dinners Cookbook

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