Star-spiced pears Recipe

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15 min


40 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 266 kCal 13%
  -  Saturates 11g 55%

Cheap, quick and easy to prepare, these delicious spiced pears are the perfect dessert option if you are watching what you eat.


  • 4 just-ripe pears
  • For the syrup:
  • 200g (7oz) light muscovado sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves, optional
  • 3-4 pieces of star anise


  • To make the syrup: Put all the ingredients into a pan that will be just big enough to hold the pears. Add 600ml (1 pint) water. Put over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil.

  • Peel the pears, but don’t core them. Stand them up in the pan of just boiling syrup and cover with a piece of crumpled, damp greaseproof paper, to stop the pears bobbing up. Or put a saucer that fits inside the pan, on top of them.

  • Simmer very gently for about 20 mins, then test whether the pears are tender by inserting a skewer and seeing if it goes in easily. Carefully take out the pears with a draining spoon and put them in a dish. Take out the cinnamon stick.

  • Bring the syrup to the boil for about 20 mins until reduced and really syrupy — almost to a caramel consistency. Pour, or spoon, over the pears, which can be served warm or cold. The syrup is sweet/sharp, like a spicy marmalade sauce. Serve with cream or ice cream, if you like.

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Top Tip

If the pears are left in the syrup overnight, the syrup will become more runny.