Use small, ripe yet firm pears and serve in wide-mouthed martini glasses to show off the layers. Cardamom adds aromatic flair to the custard. We recommend buying green pods. Crush them lightly and pick out the dark brown seeds. Crush the seeds using a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a heavy pan.
- Portion size 8 servings
Custard: In bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and cardamom. Set aside.
In heavy saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around edge; whisk half into egg mixture. Whisk back into milk in pan; cook, stirring, until boiling and thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 7 minutes.
Strain milk mixture through fine sieve into bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
In Dutch oven, combine port, water, sugar, lemon rind and juice, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Bring to boil over medium heat; boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Peel and halve pears; using melon baller or teaspoon, scoop out cores. Add pears to pan; cover with round of parchment paper and lid. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to plate and let cool. Strain liquid through fine sieve into small saucepan; boil over high heat until reduced to about 1/2 cup (125 mL), about 8 minutes. Let cool.
In bowl, whip cream. Slice pears and set 8 slices aside. For each serving, spoon about 1/4 cup (50 mL) custard into 3/4-cup (175 mL) martini glass. Top with sliced pear, 1 tbsp (15 mL) port syrup and 2 tbsp (25 mL) whipped cream. Garnish with reserved pear slice. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Nutritional facts <b>Per serving:</b> about
- Sodium 51 mg
- Protein 4 g
- Calories 279.0
- Total fat 9 g
- Cholesterol 98 mg
- Saturated fat 5 g
- Total carbohydrate 43 g
- Iron 4.0
- Folate 7.0
- Calcium 9.0
- Vitamin A 12.0
- Vitamin C 3.0