Preheat the oven to 180'C.
Peel the pears, and remove the core using a Parisienne scoop.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods.
Use a peeler to remove the zest from half of the orange in long wide strips.
Place the wine, water, sugar, vanilla, spices and the zest of the orange in a pan, bring to the boil and add the pears. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the pears are tender.
Mix together the crème fraiche, the icing sugar and the seeds from a vanilla pod. Keep refrigerated.
To make the biscuits: Cut the butter into dice and keep refrigerated.
Add the seeds from the remaining vanilla pod to the flour and icing sugar. Place the flour, icing sugar and butter into a food processor and beat until the mixture comes together in a ball. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Using a star shaped pastry cutter, cut out 2 biscuits per person. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until brown round the edges and firm in the centre. Dust with caster sugar whilst still hot and allow to cool on the baking tray.
For the candied orange zest: Zest the orange with a zester making sure you have long, thin strips.
Bring the water and sugar to the boil and add the orange zests. Cook for 3 minutes and then remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon. Place immediately into a tray of caster sugar and coat with the sugar.
Serve the whole pear with a quenelle of the crème fraiche, two star shaped biscuits, a drizzle of the poaching syrup and top the crème fraiche with the candied orange zests.
«Adjust the cooking time for the pears according to their ripeness. If they are very ripe, peel as described and poach only for 15 minutes.»
Pear poached in a spiced white wine syrup served with golden shortbread biscuits and a vanilla flavoured crème fraiche.