This is a touch of luxury, truly delicious, impressive, and yet very simple to do. Eat with a spoon of crème fraîche. The perfect ending to a Middle Eastern inspired meal.
Poached pears in white wine & cardamom – serves 4
- 500ml dry white wine
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 150g caster sugar
- 15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- ½ tsp saffron threads
- pinch of salt
- 4 firm pears, peeled
- crème fraîche or thick double cream to serve
Pour the wine and lemon juice into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, cardamom, saffron and salt. Bring to a light simmer and place the pears in the liquid. Make sure the pears are immersed by adding a bit of water if necessary. Cover the surface with a disc of greaseproof paper and simmer until the pears are cooked through but not mushy, about 15-25 minutes. Turn the pears around every now and again as they cook. When a knife goes into the flesh smoothly, the pears are done.
Remove from the liquid and transfer into four dishes. Increase the heat and reduce the liquid by about two-thirds, or until thick and syrupy. Pour over the pears and leave to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature with the crème fraîche.
(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottololenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)