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Pears with orange, cardamom & orange flower water

Pears with orange, cardamom & orange flower water

In poached dishes, pears are best made in advance so they can sit in their syrup for 24 hours, absorbing the flavours, like in Diana Henry's recipe.

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  • Serves6
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook50 mins
  • Total time1 hr
  • Pluscooling and chilling

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  • 6 pears
  • lemons, juice
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 400ml white wine
  • 200ml orange juice, plus extra if needed
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, scrubbed, 2 broad pared strips zest
  • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water, to taste
  • Crème fraîche or whipped cream, slightly sweetened, to serve


  1. Peel the pears and put them in a bowl with the lemon juice (the juice stops the flesh discolouring). Crush the cardamom with the flat end of a rolling pin or something similar. Take the seeds out and discard the pods. Put the seeds into a saucepan that will hold all the pears comfortably. Add the wine, orange juice, sugar and orange zest.

  2. Gently bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce to a simmer, then add the pears with the lemon juice they’re sitting in. The pears should be half covered with the liquid. If not, add more orange juice.

  3. Poach the pears, turning them every so often to ensure they get evenly cooked. How long this takes depends on the ripeness of the pears – it can take anything from 15-45 minutes. Test for doneness by putting a small, sharp knife into the pear flesh. They should be tender, but very much holding their shape.

  4. Lift the pears out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and transfer to a shallow bowl. Cover and set aside. Remove the orange zest and boil the cooking liquor, reducing for about 15 minutes until it’s thicker (it will thicken as it cools too). Leave to cool completely. Add orange flower water to taste – you just want a hint. Too much and it tastes soapy.

  5. Pour the cooled syrup over the pears. The longer you leave them in the liquid, the more they will absorb its flavour. Cover again and put in the fridge. Serve each pear with a little puddle of syrup and slightly sweetened crème fraîche or whipped cream (I sweeten mine with a touch of icing sugar, just to taste).


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


928kJ/ 220kcals



Saturated Fat












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