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Vanilla-Yoghurt Bavarois

150 ml double cream
1 vanilla pod - use the seeds
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
150 g caster sugar
4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water for 4 minutes
600 ml sheeps yoghurt (or cows milk)
350 ml double cream, lightly whipped

Have ready one large mould or 6 smaller. Bring the double cream,
vanilla seeds, orange zest and caster sugar to the boil. Remove
from the heat and add the gelatine, stirring until dissolved, then
leave to go cold. (If the mixture sets before the next step, warm
carefully over a pot of hot water, mixing well until it softens).
Whisk in the yoghurt, then gently whisk in the whipped cream. Pour
into the mould or moulds and leave to set in the refrigerator for
at least 4 hours.

Chianti Poached Pears

8 firm, slender pears, such as conference
180 g sugar
1 litre chianti or other Italian wine
juice and thinly pared peel of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
lemon juice and sugar to taste

Choose a saucepan in which the pears fit on their sides and cut a
round of greaseproof paper which fits the pan exactly. Put the
sugar and wine in the pan and warm, stirring until the sugar has
completely dissolved. Add all the flavourings, bring to the boil
and simmer steadily for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat so that
the syrup barely bubbles. Peel the pears and scoop out the flower
end with a teaspoon, but leave the stalk on. Cut a thin slice form
the bottom of the pears so they can stand. Put the pears in the
red wine syrup and press the round piece of paper on top to keep
them fully immersed. Put the lid on the pan and poached very gently
for 20-45 minutes or until just tender. (20 min. is minimum). Let
the pears cool to tepid in the syrup, then drain and chill them.

Strain the syrup and reduce over a high heat until glossy and thick
enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Correct the
seasoning with lemon juice and sugar. Leave to cool.

Serve with the syrup.

Note: Excellent with poached peaches.


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