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Cook: 30 minutes | Servings: Serves 6


Gently-simmered poached pears in a spice-infused syrup.

  • 6 pears, peeled, cored, stalks intact
  • 250 ml (1 cup) castor sugar
  • 500 ml (2 cups) cold water
  • ½ thumb-sized fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence

Place all the ingredients except the pears in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the pears and poach in the syrup for another 10 minutes until tender.
Remove the pears from the pot and set aside.
Now reduce the syrup to a slightly thick consistency.
Pour the syrup over the pears and set it aside to cool.
Serve it at room temperature.
Serve with custard, ice cream or a dollop of fresh cream.

Useful Tips
Best pears to use are not over-ripe and also not too hard.
To check if the pears are cooked, use a paring knife and gently push into the middle of the fruit. If the pears are soft they are cooked.
You can also customise the poaching liquid to suite your taste by adding various other spices or wine. Keep it simple and allow the flavour of the pears to shine through.
You can replace the vanilla essence with a deseeded vanilla pod.
Use only 1 star anise if you prefer a less liquorice-like flavour.

Recipe posted by: Mauricia Jordaan
Photo:  Maurcia Jordaan

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