Cheap, quick and easy to prepare, these delicious spiced pears are the perfect dessert option if you are watching what you eat. Star-spiced pears
Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs:Cheap as chips




    • 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.


Nutritional information per portion



Fat 0.0g


Saturates 11.0g


Calories 266(kcal)


Recipe by Kate Moseley