Poached pears with pain d’épice ice cream


First published in 2015
Share recipe




Ice cream

  • 200g of pain d'épices
  • 225ml of milk
  • 225g of double cream
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 20g of icing sugar

Poached pears

To plate

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
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
  • 1l water
  • 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
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
First published in 2015
Share recipe