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Poached pears with vanilla cream

Poached pears with vanilla cream


Impress your friends with this classy dessert.

  • Feeds 4 Feeds 4
  • Ready in 55 minutes

Each serving contains

  • Energy
    2610kj 623kcal
  • Fat
    High 35%
  • Saturates
    High 75%
  • Sugar
    High 35%
  • Salt
    Low 35%

% of adult’s reference intake | Carbohydrates per serving : 78g


  • 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250ml red wine
  • 250ml water
  • 2 firm pears
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (or extract if you prefer)


  1. Squeeze the juice of the orange into a small, but deep saucepan then stir in the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, wine and water. Heat to gentle simmer, which will dissolve the sugar.
  2. Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact if possible.
  3. Using a small knife, lay the pear on its side and insert the knife into the base of the pear just to one side of the core. Carefully cut around the core, about 4-5cm deep in the base of the pear.
  4. Lay the pears sideways, next to each other in the gently simmering syrup and poach for 30-45 minutes, turning them over every 15 minutes or so. You want the pears to soften, but not so much that they collapse, it will depend on their ripeness and size, but they are done when your paring knife slides into the body with ease. Do this without a lid so that you can keep an eye on the temperature of the liquid and adjust the heat accordingly.
  5. Lift the pears out and stand them upright on a plate. Turn the heat up on the syrup and bubble it furiously so that water evaporates and the syrup reduces to a sticky syrup. (Aiming for something that will slowly dribble from a spoon and not just fall off.)
  6. Whip the cream to soft peaks in a clean bowl with the icing sugar. Aim for a consistency that will just spoon into a dollop and hold its shape.
  7. Slice the vanilla pod in halve lengthwise on a chopping board and scrape the seeds out of the pod using the back of a knife. Stir these into the cream too. (Alternatively add a drop of vanilla extract).
  8. Serve a warm pear per portion, stood up on the plate (cut a flat bottom to the pear if required) with a drizzle of the syrup spooned over the top and a dollop of the vanilla cream next to it.

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