Spiced vanilla and orange poached pears

Mon, 24 Nov 2014

Helen James

Poached pears are a great dessert for this time of year. Firstly they shout winter, especially in this recipe, which adds mandarin and cardamom. Secondly they are in abundance in shops at the moment and thirdly because you can make them in advance.

As we all get busier and busier, this recipe can be the difference between a lovely evening with friends and family, or a stressed out disaster! Make them on a Friday afternoon to serve at your Saturday evening get-together.

Helen James


  • 3 pears (barlett or anjou work well)
  • 1 litre of water
  • ½ cup & 2 tbsps (125g) vanilla sugar
  • 1 strip mandarin peel
  • 2 cardamom pods crushed

  1. 1. Combine the water, vanilla sugar, mandarin peel and crushed cardamom pods in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. 2. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes to infuse.
  3. 3. In the meantime, carefully peel your pears but leave the stalks intact. Try and peel in long smooth actions so you get a clean surface and maintain the shape of the fruit.
  4. 4. Lower the pears into the poaching liquid, stalks pointing up. Make sure that they’re all in a single layer and are fully submerged up to the stalk in the liquid.
  5. 5. Bring back to a boil then reduce the heat again and simmer pears gently for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of your Pears). Pears are ready when a skewer easily pierces through the soft fleshy skin.
  6. 6. Remove from heat and leave the pears to cool down in the syrup. Turn pears occasionally. Once cooled, you can store in the fridge.
  7. 7. Boil your syrup and reduce it to about half its quantity. You should be left with nice thick syrup.
  8. 8. Serve your pears stalk pointing up and drizzle your syrup over the top. You can also serve with the poaching liquid and a little cream.

Helen James

If you are serving the following day refrigerate the pears and syrup. Remove from the fridge a couple of hours before serving. They can be served at room temperature or if you like, you can re-heat the syrup to serve.

Helen James

Enjoy! And let me know if you make these and how you get on #consideredbyhj

Products used: Vanilla Sugar3520108 Copper Sauce Po3531102 Natural Board3512119 Mercer Plate3540102