There's something so moreish and luxurious about poached pears – they’re ridiculously easy to make and really look the part for a fancy Christmas dessert.
Poached pears make the ideal winter warmer as they’re comforting, look fabulous and take no time at all to prepare. In this method of gentle, stove-top cooking, the pears are slowly simmered with all sorts of syrups and spices to bring out their delicate and distinct flavours. What makes them even better is that you can serve them any way you want. They’re delicious in their own right, drizzled with a spot of cream, stewed in a spicy wine or even chopped up and served with crepes and yoghurts. The possibilities are near endless!
The key is to remember that the longer the pears sit in the flavourful syrup after poaching, the better they’ll taste – making this an ideal option for those who like to plan and prepare ahead. The fruit becomes tender, reduces down and absorbs the beautifully concentrated flavour of the liquid. You can create a simple poaching liquid by mixing two parts liquid (such as water, wine, or fruit juice) with one part sugar. Follow our simple tips below for perfectly poached pears, and for the full ingredients list and method, check out our recipe from super saffron poached pears.
Peel 4 medium pears, leaving the stalk intact. Place them them into a saucepan with crushed cardamom pods, caster sugar, a vanilla pod, saffron, a cinnamon stick and 1 litre of water.
Poach for 2 hours or until the pears are tender, then remove them from the heat and allow them to cool.
Boil the leftover syrup until it reduces to a sticky glaze.
Serve the pears with 2 tablespoons of the saffron glaze and pouring cream.
Not only is this fruit dessert delicious, it’s also a great way of getting one of your five-a-day. You could also try your hand at these gorgeous baked pears with wine and walnut cream, pears in Amarone, or buckwheat crepes with poached apples and pears.
What do you make of poached pears? Will you be incorporating this classy festive dessert in your Christmas menu? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @JamieOliverCom.