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Poached Pears In Maple And Yogurt Sauce

This elegant dessert is easier to make than it looks - poach the pears on the hob or barbecue when you cook the main course, and have the cooled syrup ready to add just before serving.

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6 firm pears
15ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
250ml/8fl oz/1 cup sweet white wine or cider
Thinly pared rind of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
30ml/2 tbsp maple syrup
2.5ml/ tsp arrowroot
150ml/ pint/⅔ cup strained Greek-style yogurt


Serves: 6


1. Peel the pears, leaving them whole and with stalks. Brush with lemon juice to prevent them discolouring. Use a potato peeler or small knife to scoop out the core from the base of each pear.

2. Place the pears in a wide, heavy pan and pour over the wine, with enough cold water to almost cover the fruit. Add the lemon rind and cinnamon stick, and bring to the boil on the hob or, using a flameproof pan, on the barbecue. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Lift out the pears carefully.

3. Boil the remaining liquid, uncovered, until reduced to about 120ml/4 fl oz/½ cup. Strain and add the maple syrup. Blend a little of the liquid with the arrowroot. Return to the pan and cook, stirring, until thick and clear. Allow to cool.

4. Slice each pear, leaving the slices attached at the stem end, and fan out on serving plates. Stir 30ml/2 tbsp of the cooled syrup into the yogurt and spoon around the pears. Drizzle the pears with the remaining syrup and serve immediately.

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