Special Diet

  • 2 vanilla pods, split
  • 3 tablespoons clear honey
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz) sweet white wine
  • 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 4 hard pears, such as Packham or Comice, peeled, cored and halved
  • 25 g (1 oz) reduced-fat sunflower spread
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 1 egg white

Combine the vanilla pods, honey, wine, sugar and water in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears. Heat until the sugar dissolves and then add the pears. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pears are very tender. Remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Simmer the syrup for about 15 minutes until it has reduced. Set aside with the pears until ready to serve.

Make the biscuits. Beat together the sunflower spread, maple syrup and sugar, then stir in the flour. Beat the egg white until softly peaking, then fold it into the mix.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing the biscuits well apart. Bake in a preheated oven, 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, for about 8 minutes until golden. Remove and transfer to a rack to cool.

Decorate the pears with a sliver of vanilla pod and serve with a little syrup drizzled over them and a biscuit on the side.

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