For the poached pears:
1) In a large stockpot, bring the red wine and port to a boil and then light it on fire with a long match to flambe it, or else just simmer and let it reduce by one-quarter.
2) In another large stockpot, heat the honey and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the simple syrup and the wine mixture and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, gingerbread spice, and orange zest. Add the pears and reduce the heat to a simmer.
3) Cut out a circle of parchment paper (a cartouche) and set it over the liquid. Remove the pan from the heat and let the residual heat of the liquid poach the pears. Leave the pears in the liquid overnight at room temperature to obtain as much color from the wine as possible.
4) Transfer the pears to a plate and cool in the refrigerator. The leftover poaching liquid can be frozen and re-used - or you can reheat it, add some brandy, and have a great holiday cocktail!
For the foie gras:
1) Pass the foie gras through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add the salt, Madeira, cognac, pink salt, sugar, and white pepper, and mix well. Cover very tightly with cling film and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
2) Let the foie gras mixture soften at room temperature. Place in between two sheets of acetate. Use a dough sheeter or rolling pin to uniformly flatten it to about 1 to 1.5cms. Set the foie gras on a baking tray and refrigerate.
For the pain d'epice tuile:
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat.
2) Beat the egg whites and flour in a heavy-duty mixer. Incorporate the butter, gingerbread spice, and bicarbonate of soda. Warm up the honey and beat it in. Using an offset spatula and a tuile template, spread the batter evenly on the lined baking tray.
3) Bake until just done; it's better to underbake than overbake. Place the tuiles on a cooling rack. You will need 12 tuiles in total, but make extra to allow for breakage.
For the finish:
1) Cut the foie gras into eight 2.5cm x 7.5cm rectangles. Lay four tuiles out flat, centre a rectangle of foie gras onto each tuile. Cover each with a tuile. Centre another rectangle of foie gras on top of the tuiles, and cover with the remaining tuiles.
2) Lay the mille-feuille of foie gras and pain d'epice on its side on a plate and place a single poached pear next to it. Alternatively, the pear can be cut into slices, if you like. If you have extra tuiles leftover, crumble them up and use Pain d'epice crumble as an additional garnish or as a base for the poached pear.
3) Finish the plate with mache leaves.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representatio