Mead jelly with roasted spiced pears

Mark Sargeant offers a sophisticated, grown-up version of jelly and fruit dessert
By Mark Sargeant
Mead jelly with roasted spiced pears
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 5 minutes soaking
  • Effort: medium


  • 6 gelatine, leaves
  • 100 g sugar
  • 300 ml mead, plus extra for deglazing
  • 2 firm but ripe pears
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 2 knobs butter
  • caster sugar, for cooking
  • 2 whole vanilla pods, seeds removed and kept separate
  • elderflower sorbet, to serve


1. Cover the gelatine sheets with cold water and leave for a few minutes to soften.

2. Put the sugar into a saucepan with 150ml water over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as the sugar is dissolved and any bubbles begin to appear.

3. Pour in the mead, return the pan to the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat again.

4. Squeeze out any excess water from the softened gelatine leaves and add to the warm mead mix. Whisk to ensure the gelatine is completely dissolved and incorporated.

5. Pour the mixture into individual small jelly moulds or dariole moulds and transfer to the fridge to chill and set for at least 2 hours.

6. Peel the pears and cut in half lengthways. Remove the pip area from all the pear halves with a small melon baller and remove the stalk, creating a small channel from the tip of the pear to the area you have removed with the melon baller. Place a star anise into the hole where the pips were.

7. Heat a couple of knobs of butter in a pan and gently pan-roast the pear, flat-side down, along with a sprinkling of caster sugar and the vanilla seeds and pods until the pears are softened and golden. Once softened, deglaze the pan with a splash of mead and spoon the resulting sauce over the pears.

8. Place the vanilla pods on top of the pears to resemble the stalk, then serve alongside the mead jelly with a small scoop of elderflower sorbet.

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