If taking these to a picnic, wrap tightly and pack honey separately to serve.
WHITE BALSAMIC GLAZE
500ml white balsamic
½ cup caster sugar
SAFFRON POACHED PEARS
1 cup white wine or verjuice
1 cup water
½ tsp saffron threads
rind from 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
3 firm Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, left whole and rubbed with lemon juice
200ml whipping cream
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
300ml whipping cream
1 loaf brioche, crusts removed
Small mint leaves to garnish
In a small pot on medium high heat, add the white balsamic and 1/2 cup sugar and reduce by half. Take off heat and allow cooling to room temperature.
Place wine, water, saffron, lemon, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon stick into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved.
Cut pears into halves and remove core and woody stem with small spoon or knife. Add pears to poaching stock and cover with a piece of baking paper pressed down onto the liquid so that the pears stay submerged. Poach gently for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Remove pears, set aside and keep warm.
In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, 200ml cream, 2 tsp sugar, and vanilla. Hand whisk until smooth and soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
In a large bowl, whisk egg and 300ml cream until well combined. Cut brioche to desired shapes and preheat a non-stick frying pan to medium-high heat. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat all sides of the brioche and put straight into frying pan. Cook for 30 seconds each side until golden and brioche separates easily from frying pan. If the bread is sticking to the pan, cook a bit longer. Remove and rest on absorbent paper.
To serve, cut each pear half into quarters. Lay French toast onto plate, arrange pears along the toast. Drizzle with the reduced white balsamic glaze and generously spoon the vanilla mascarpone onto the toast. Scatter with the picked mint leaves and serve immediately.
Perfect accompaniment: Sandalford 2009 Botrytis Semillon
Recipe provided by Sandalford Restaurant