By Wai Lin Coultas
TRADITIONALLY DRUNK during winter, mulled wine is especially popular over Christmas in Europe. But with chilly months only mid-year in Australia, this belly-warming drink is wickedly served jelly-cold and heightened by equally nippy poached pears and minty Greek yoghurt delectably lashed with a distinct Tasmanian identity – aromatic leatherwood honey! Perfect for special occasions or second rounds of yuletide joy.
4 small ripe pears, peeled
5–6 sheets gelatin leaves
24 tsp Greek yoghurt
6 sprigs fresh mint tips
6 large fresh mint leaves
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup orange juice
1 lemon, juiced
7 strips of peeled zest
1 cup castor sugar
2 tbsp apricot jam
3 star anise
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla essence
Place all mulled wine ingredients in a saucepan to boil after sugar has dissolved.
Add pears, return to boil then simmer for 30 mins. Turn pears over and simmer another 30 mins to evenly redden their flesh.Strain wine into a second saucepan.
Core and dice 2 poached pears to evenly add to 6 champagne flutes. Cover and refrigerate remaining 2 pears.
Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 to 7 minutes before squeezing out excess water.
Return mulled wine over gentle flame and stir in squeezed gelatin leaves till completely dissolved.
Pour wine evenly over pears in flutes, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours till jelly sets.
Just before serving, finely chop mint leaves and stir into yoghurt. Core and dice refrigerated pears.
For each flute, spoon 1/6 yoghurt over jelly. Drizzle with honey and then heap 1/6 diced pears over, garnishing with a sprig of mint tip.