I adore pears! Here they are gently simmered in saffron and spices, then covered in coconut cream and toasted flaked almonds. This recipe is vegan and vegetarian friendly, uses only 9 ingredients, and is make ahead friendly! 

My friend Greg will happily tell you that pears are one of the most underrated fruits. A perfectly juicy, slightly crisp pear just can’t be beaten when eaten whole and fresh, sliced into salads, or chopped into a fresh salsa to spoon over ice cream. A little sweet, a little tart, and softer than an apple, theres a lot to love about really great pears.

Sometimes though you might end up with a slightly hard, or mealy batch, and then you remember why pears are so often overlooked. Do not despair! Poaching will transform even the crunchiest, saddest pear into something incredibly moreish, silky and luxurious. Poached pears are easy to make, and look incredibly striking standing proud on a plate at the end of a meal. These regal ladies benefit from being cooked in advance- perfect for dinner parties and meal prep! Win! If using these for breakfast meal prep feel free to reduce the sugar. These go fantastically with our Vegan Coconut Oats  Here we add earthiness with saffron and warming spices to give the sweet pears a subtle depth and complexity. If you don’t have saffron, simply add ¼ tsp of turmeric to the poaching liquid, which will help the pears get a lovely golden hue.

Saffron & Spice Poached Pears

With coconut cream and almonds 

 

Ingredients: 

4 medium pears

5 cardamom pods, crushed

180 g caster sugar

½ a vanilla pod

½ tsp grated ginger

Pinch of saffron, or ¼ tsp powdered turmeric 

1 small stick of cinnamon

¾ cup coconut cream

¼ cup Toasted Flaked almonds

 

Method

Peel the pears, keeping the stalk intact. Crush the cardamom pods with a heavy object or pestle and mortar. 

Add the pears to a snug, small saucepan. Add 500ml water, or just enough water to submerge them (try not to go too far over the 500ml, or the flavours will be diluted). Add in the sugar, spices, vanilla and ginger. 

Poach the pears on a gentle simmer until just soft (about 1-1½ hours depending on the size of the pears, check them at the 1 hour mark). The pears are done when a knife slides gently into the flesh, with no resistance, but they still hold their shape. 

If you have time, allow the pears to cool in the poaching liquid, to fully absorb the flavours. They can be left for up to 4 days in the liquid before proceeding with the next step. 

Remove the pears from the liquid. Boil the liquid until reduced to a sticky, pourable, syrupy glaze, (about 200ml). If you over reduce the syrup, simply loosen it with some water, 

Place the pears on a serving platter, drizzle in syrup and coconut cream and finish with flaked almonds. Serve immediately. 

Chefs Tip: The pears can be served hot or cold. Simply warm them, if necessary, before adding the toppings.