Congee is a very comforting food. This pear congee makes an elegant dessert in the fall. You can make a simpler version to help cure a cold. Add lots of chopped ginger to the congee and just cook the pears, diced, along with the rice, adding them about half an hour before the soup is finished.. Stir in honey to taste and sip. —luvcookbooks
Combine the rice, water, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger slices and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat so that the rice simmers for about an hour. It should be porridgey. Stir occasionally, especially as it gets thicker, so that it doesn't stick.
When the rice is done, cover the pot and keep it over very low heat. Combine the sugar and remaining water in a frying pan. Bring to a boil without stirring. When the boiling sugar syrup just starts to color, take if off the heat and add the diced pears and chopped ginger., turning so they are all coated with the syrup. Return the pan to heat and add the Calvados. Simmer 5-10 minutes, until the pears start to soften. Add a little water if the syrup is too thick.
While the pears and ginger are cooking, pan roast the cashews until they brown slightly and become fragrant. Add a few pinches of kosher salt and stir. Chop coarsely.
Remove star anise, ginger, and cinnamon stick from the rice mixture. Bring to a boil and ladle into six small bowls, filling about 2/3 full. Spoon the pear and ginger mixture over the rice. Top with diced Asian pear and cashews. Enjoy!