We have LOADS of ace DIY food and drink presents lovingly tried and tested by the Festive Sluts. Have you checked out our ace roundup of homemade Christmas drink gifts yet? I'm pretty sure I'll be giving people Laura's amazing beer fudge this year too, wowzers! BEER FUDGE!
Pears are super cheap at the moment and if you make this now it will be ready in time for Christmas. Serve them with vanilla ice cream, drizzle them with brandy sauce or pop them on your cheeseboard.
I used big 1 litre jars for this and nice big conference pears. It made enough to fill both jars.
You'll need: (makes about 2 x 1L jars)
- 500ml pear cider
- 150g white sugar
- 300ml water
- 1 large orange
- 4 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 1 vanilla pod
- 50ml brandy
- 8 pears
- handful jumbo sultanas
- Preheat your oven to 150C. Combine your pear cider, sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently.
- Using a veg peeler remove the skin from the orange making sure you leave any white pith behind. Add about half of the peel to the saucepan along with all the juice. Add 2 star anise, 2 cloves, cinnamon sticks and the split vanilla pod and continue to heat until it boils then let it bubble away for a few minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and it has started to become syrupy then add your brandy, stir and remove from the heat.
- Peel and quarter your pears. If you are using a really big jar or small pears then you can leave them whole but I find that you can fit more in if you quarter them. Divide the pears between your sterilised jars adding the sultanas, remaining star anise, cloves and orange peel then pour over your syrup making sure everything is submerged.
- Pop a lid on the jars very loosely and place in the oven for an hour. Remove from the oven, tighten the lids and leave for at least a week before eating. You can keep them unopened for a couple of months but then once opened keep in the fridge and eat within a week.