Saffron Poached Pear with Ginger Ice Cream

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Mix in a little India


Heat Level

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Saffron is the royal spice often used around Diwali time for its fantastic flavour and jewel like colour.

Ingredients test

  • 600ml (1 pint) double cream
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 balls stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp stem ginger syrup

Saffron poached pears

  • 4 - 6 pears, peeled
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) water
  • 75g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 cloves
  • 5cm (1 inch) piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • Good pinch of saffron
  • Juice of 1 medium orange
  • 1 vanilla pod

Ginger ice cream

  1. Heat the cream and milk together until they are almost boiling. Meanwhile in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until they are pale and thick.
  2. Pour the hot milk on to the egg yolk mixture, return the mixture to the rinsed out pan. Put the pan back on the heat and cook over a gentle flame, stirring all the time until the bubbles disappear and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil.
  3. Stir the ginger and syrup into the custard and pour into a shallow dish, leave to cool. When cold, pour into a freezer proof container and freeze for about one hour. After the hour, use a fork to stir the mixture, to break up any ice crystals. Repeat this twice more and then leave to freeze until firm. Alternatively pour the mixture into an ice cream mixer and churn as directed.

Saffron poached pears

  1. In a pan add the water, sugar, honey, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, saffron and orange juice. Slit the vanilla pod down the middle lengthways and scrape the seeds out and add to the pan with the pod. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add the pears, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 30 - 35 minutes, turning them occasionally.
  2. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and set aside. Increase the heat under the pan and reduce the cooking syrup to about one third. Pour the syrup over the pears, cool then chill until ready to serve with a scoop of ginger ice cream.



Pears discolour once cut so plunge them into water with a squeeze of lime juice until you are ready to use. If you don't have the time to make your own ice cream you can use store bought vanilla and just add chopped stem ginger.