This poached pear recipe from the Galvin brothers makes the perfect autumnal dessert. Equal parts elegant and comforting, the flavour of the beautifully fanned fruit is perfectly complemented by the gently spiced pain d'épice ice cream. Pain d'épices – literally 'spiced bread' – is a lightly spiced French sweet bread, although gingerbread may work just as well if you are unable to locate any yourself.
The folder name
Please choose a different name.
Please enter a name for the new folder.
Cut the crust from the pain d’épices and reserve 100g of the trimmings for the ice cream. Cut 6 rectangles from the loaf, each about 8cm x 4cm in size and about 5mm thick, and set aside
200g of pain d'épices
To make the ice cream, put the milk and cream in a pan with the pain d’épices trimmings and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large bowl until pale in colour
225ml of milk
4 free-range egg yolks
20g of icing sugar
75g of caster sugar
Once the cream mixture has reached the boil remove it from the heat and carefully pour over the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Once thoroughly combined pour the mixture into a clean pan and cook gently, stirring continuously, to a temperature of 82°C or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon
Remove from the heat, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and leave to cool. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Meanwhile, prepare the poaching syrup for the pears. Combine the caster sugar, water, star anise and vanilla together in a small, deep pan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 3 minutes
2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthwise
500g of caster sugar
1 star anise
Meanwhile, peel the pears and leave their stalks on, then place the pears in the syrup and cover with a cartouche or a circle of greaseproof paper. Return to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes – the cooking time will vary depending on the ripeness and size of the pears, but they should be cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the syrup
6 Williams pears
Remove and discard the star anise and vanilla pods. Using a melon baller, remove the core from each pear (by cutting through the base), leaving the stalk intact. Slice each pear lengthwise, taking care not to cut right through to the top so the pears remain attached to the stalk. Meanwhile, soak the rectangles of pain d’épices in the leftover poaching liquid
To serve, place a pain d’épices rectangle on the plate and pear on top, fanning out the slices around the stalk. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and finish with a generous scoop of pain d’épices ice cream
30g of pistachio nuts, chopped
Want more recipes like this delivered to your inbox?
Sign up to our newsletter now and we'll send you a hand-picked round-up of the best seasonal recipes and features from the best chefs each week.
Invalid email address
Thanks for subscribing
We'll only contact you around once per week with the best recipes and features. You can unsubscribe at any time.