Baked Pears with Mulled Wine Syrup
30 minutes bake time
These pastry wrapped poached pears served with a sweet spiced red wine syrup will bring a wow factor to a special dinner!
- 750ml light red wine (such as pinot noir)
- 200g caster sugar, plus 2 teaspoons extra for sprinkling
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Few strips pared orange peel
- 6 cloves
- 1 vanilla pod, halved
- 4 large Conference pears
- 1 x 270g pack Jus-Rol™ Ready Rolled Puff Pastry Sheet (remove from fridge 10 minutes before using)
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Medium saucepan
- Pastry brush
- Place the wine, sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, cloves and vanilla pod into a medium sized pan, just big enough to fit the pears in one layer. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil.
- Peel the pears, leaving the stalks on, and cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear to level. Add to the pan and cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquid for 45 minutes. Remove the pears from the liquid and place on a plate lined with kitchen roll. Leave to cool fully.
- Meanwhile, boil the wine mixture, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until reduced by about 2/3rds and the liquid is thick and syrupy (you’ll be left with about 300ml). Remove from the heat, strain into a heatproof jug and set aside to cool (about 1 hour).
- Preheat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas 6. Unroll the puff pastry on the greaseproof paper provided. Using a ruler, cut the pastry into 12 long strips about 1.5cm wide (you’ll have one wider strip left over for cutting leaves to decorate).
- Brush the pears with some of the cooled syrup and place, well-spaced apart, on a baking sheet. Starting from the bottom, wrap a pastry strip around a pear, slightly overlapping the previous strip. When you reach the end of a pastry strip, brush the end with a little beaten egg and press onto the next pastry strip. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear (about 3 strips for each pear). Tuck the end of the pastry piece into the last spiral. Repeat with the remaining pears and pastry strips.
- Cut out leaf shapes from the remaining pastry strip and stick to each pear, just below the stalk with a little beaten egg.
- Brush the pastry-wrapped pears all over with beaten egg and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden (check after about 20 minutes and cover the top of the pears loosely with small pieces of foil if they start to overbrown).
- Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to serving plates and serve drizzled with the reduced wine syrup.
- Change the flavour of the mulled wine syrup to suit your tastes. Add a few lightly crushed cardamom pods and a star anise as alternatives to the cinnamon and cloves.
- Prep ahead – Cook the pears the day before and leave in the poaching liquid for a more intense mulled flavour.
- Left over wine syrup can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and is perfect for serving with ice cream.