Pears are poached in a Québécois beverage called caribou, which is often served during the winter carnival. Double the amount of hot spiced wine you make, reserve half, and enjoy it as a beverage.
1 1/4 cups fruity red wine
4 juniper berries
3 star anise
4 (1-inch) cinnamon sticks, divided
2 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
1/3 cup white rum
1/2 cup sugar, divided
4 firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled and cored
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
How to Make It
Combine wine, juniper berries, anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Stir in 1/3 cup white rum.
Combine rum mixture and 1/4 cup sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Place pears in pan; cook 1 hour or until pears are tender, turning occasionally. Remove pears; cool. Bring cooking liquid to a boil; cook 15 minutes or until mixture reduces to 1/4 cup.
Combine milk, whipping cream, and remaining 2 cinnamon sticks in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon sticks. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return mixture to pan; cook over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, stirring constantly. Place pan in an ice-filled bowl; cool completely. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Carefully drain liquid from bucket; repack bucket with ice and salt. Cover with kitchen towels; ripen at least for 1 hour.
Cut pears in half lengthwise. Slice each pear half, lengthwise, cutting to but not through stem end. Fan one pear half on each of 8 small plates, and drizzle pear halves evenly with reduced syrup. Serve with 1/4 cup ice cream. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon pistachios over each serving.