Poached pears with cinnamon ice cream

Mulled wine spices add warmth and depth to Tom Kitchin's garnet-coloured poached pears
Poached pears with cinnamon ice cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus infusing and freezing time
  • Effort: medium


For the ice cream

  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 130 g caster sugar

For the pears

  • 750 ml bottle red wine
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1 orange, pared zest only
  • 10 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 250 g caster sugar, or to taste
  • 4 pears
  • 1 lemon, halved


1. For the ice cream: in a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla, ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick until simmering. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until pale and slightly thickened.

2. Tip the yolk mixture into a heavy-based saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the hot spiced milk and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens just enough to coat the back of the spoon.

3. Remove the custard from the heat and discard the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl and place over a second bowl containing iced water to help it cool quickly.

4. Once cooled, pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturers instructions. When just frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.

5. For the pears: put the wine, star anise, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for another 20 minutes. Strain and set aside while you prepare the pears.

7. Peel the pears with a vegetable peeler and rub with the cut lemon. Place the pears in a pan, cover with the spiced wine and bring to a simmer. Poach over a gentle heat until tender.

8. Drain the pears, retaining the poaching liquid.

9. Serve one pear per person with some of the spiced wine poured over and a dollop of ice cream on the side.

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