Earl Grey Spiced Poached Pears
Just like cookie dough goes with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter goes with chocolate, and lime goes with tequila, bergamot goes with black tea to create one of the world’s most beloved teas: Earl Grey. These pears will benefit from being left in the poaching syrup overnight to develop a gorgeous golden hue and thoroughly absorb all the lovely flavours from the spices. Serves 6
- Place the tea bags in a wide, shallow pan large enough to hold all of the pears. Pour over 450ml (15floz) of boiling water, stir in the sugar and leave to brew for 2 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags.
- Peel three large strips of orange zest and add to the tea along with the saffron and ginger. Bash the cardamom pods with the side of a large knife to open slightly and add to the pan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a slow simmer.
- Peel, halve and core the pears, then lower into the pan. Poach for 15-25 minutes or until just tender – the time will depend on how ripe the pears are.
- Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and arrange in a single layer in a dish. Bring the poaching liquid back to the boil and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, then remove the orange peel, ginger and cardamom.
- Pour the syrup over the pears, set aside to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, lightly oil a baking tray. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until golden. Turn off the heat, drizzle over the honey and stir to completely coat the seeds. Tip onto the baking tray and set aside to cool.
- To serve, reheat the pears and syrup in a pan over a medium heat.
- Divide between serving dishes, scatter over clusters of honeyed seeds and drizzle over the poaching liquid. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or thick Greek yoghurt.