honey-poached pears

The honey and vanilla syrup infuses into the pears, giving them a beautiful amber colour and wonderful flavour.
serves 4; ready in 45 mins plus cooling

150g clear honey
Strip of orange zest
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways with a knife
1 tsp rosewater (optional)
4 pears (not too ripe), peeled, stems left on

Put the honey in a pan big enough to hold the pears in 1 layer. Add 450ml water, zest, vanilla and rosewater, if using. Bring to the boil.

Simmer, partially covered, for 5 mins. Add the pears. Partially cover and simmer for at least 35 mins, turning the pears occasionally, until they’re cooked through.

Remove the pears. Boil the syrup, uncovered, until reduced by half. Allow to cool, then discard the pod. Pour the syrup over the pears.

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