Poached pears are a classic dish that usually uses red or white wine. I decided to do something a bit different and try Weihenstephaner Hefe, a wheat beer from the The World's oldest continuously operating brewery from a Bavarian monastery in Germany. I think using a weissbier gives a bright and refreshing taste to the pears, that go well with honey and cardamon.
The recipe is quite simple and uses just a few ingredients. Take mini forelle pears and carefully peel them leaving the stem attached. Place them in a sauce pan deep enough to cover the pears in liquid. Pour the beer over the pears and add a cup of water. Season the liquid with a half cup of honey, scored vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and a tablespoon each of cardamon, star anise and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer slowly for about an hour until tender. Remove and chill the pears. To make a syrup, strain the liquid and reduce to a thin caramel.
Place the pears on a bed of creme fraiche, drizzle the syrup over the dish and sprinkle with toasted almonds.