Crème Caramel with Red Wine Pears

Crème Caramel with Red Wine Pears

This dessert brings together two popular sweet dishes into one great dessert —crème caramel and red wine pears —a sure fire favorite. We like to serve it with a scoop of chocolate ice cream or sorbet.

Serves 8

2 tablespoons liquid glucose
500 ml milk
4 whole eggs
125 g sugar (divided into 100 g + 25 g)

Red Wine Pears

One 75-cl bottle red wine
525 g sugar (divided into 400 g+100 g +25 g)
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
2 star aniseed
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
8 small to medium pears, e.g. Williams, Roche or Comice

To serve, optional

Chocolate ice cream or sorbet
8 small tuiles or some grated chocolate
8 chocolate sticks

  1. First, for the pears, make a syrup in a deep saucepan with the wine, 250 ml of water and 400 g sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves then infuse with the spices.
  2. Peel and core pears and place in boiling syrup. Return to a gentle boil then simmer, covered with a lid, simmer for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice to ensure the pears are well submerged in the syrup and cook until al dente.
  3. Leave in liquor to cool overnight then remove the pears with a slotted spoon. Cut each in quarters and cut out the cores. Make a sauce with the liquor by boiling it right down by at least three quarters until coats the back of a spoon like a syrup. Strain and set aside.
  4. For the crème caramels, sit 8 x 100ml dariole moulds in a deep roasting pan. Heat the oven to 140°C, Gas 1.
  5. Spoon the glucose into a heavy based saucepan with 100g sugar and 3 tablespoons water.  Dissolve and then boil to a golden caramel. When the caramel is ready, pour into bottom of the moulds (about 100ml size).
  6. Beat the yolks in a large heatproof bowl with the remaining 25g sugar. Bring the milk just to boiling point then pour onto the eggs, beating well. Strain through a conical sieve into the moulds.
  7. Pour a kettle of boiling water into the roasting pan so the hot water comes two thirds the way up the sides of the darioles for a bain-marie, then cook for 35 minutes or until just set but still a little wobbly. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to rest then remove the moulds from the bain marie, cool and chill.
  8. To serve, demould the crème caramels and serve with pears and scoops of Chocolate Icecream or Sorbet placed on small tuiles with a chocolate stick on top, if liked.

Hint – to measure glucose, first warm the pot gently in the microwave for a few seconds.

From the book Modern French Cooking: Recipes from Simpsons Restaurant. Andrea Antona. Absolute Press. Buy the book

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