2/3 cup white vermouth, apple cider, or apple juice 6 Seckel or Forelle pears, quartered lengthwise* 6 lady apples, halved crosswise* 3 whole star anise 3 tablespoons sugar 1 recipe Cinnamon Custard (below)
In a large skillet cook vermouth or apple cider over low heat just to boiling. Carefully add pears, apples, and star anise to the hot liquid. Sprinkle sugar over fruit. Cook fruit mixture, covered, for 5 minutes or until the fruit is just tender.
To serve, using a slotted spoon carefully transfer the cooked fruit to individual dessert bowls. Discard poaching liquid. Drizzle fruit with Cinnamon Custard.
*Note: Core fruit, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Cinnamon Custard: 1 egg; beaten 2/3 cup milk 4 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla dash of ground cinnamon
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine egg, milk, and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats the back of a spoon; stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
Remove custard from heat. Place saucepan in a bowl of ice water for approximately 10 minutes to stop cooking process.
Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 24 hours.