This easy dessert is a great final touch to any dinner party, and can easily be done a few days in advance.
Peel the pears, but leave the stems in tact. Trim the bottoms so that they stand up by themselves.
Use a melon baller to carefully remove the core from the bottom of the pear.
In a large saucepan, pour the white wine, water, sugar, star anise, cloves and saffron. Add the zest of the orange. Place on a medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the pears to the pan. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and then cook the pears for 45 minutes or until tender.
Once the pears are cooked, remove from the liquid, and simmer with the raisins until they have plumped up and the wine has become a thick syrup. Leave the pears to cool down to room temperature.
Once the raisins have plumped up, strain from the syrup. Reserve the wine for later use.
Combine the raisins, mascarpone and ground cinnamon. Using a piping bag or a small spoon, stuff the cavity in the pears with the ricotta. Set aside on a lined baking sheet until needed.
Pre-heat the oven to 180'C.
When the oven is hot, toast the chopped pistachios until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Pour out onto a cool tray, and set aside.
Place the sugar in a saucepan over high heat, and do not stir. When the sugar has formed a dark blond caramel, add the butter. Stir until well combined, and pour in the double cream. Stir until well-combined
Working quickly, drizzle the poached pears with caramel, and sprinkle with the toasted pistachios.
Serve the pears with the reduced cooking liquor drizzled onto the plate.
«The pears can be poached several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator covered with the poaching liquor. They can also be stuffed with ice-cream, if you prefer.»