• Saffron-spiced poached pears with Gorgonzola walnuts are delicately dreamy. The lightness of the pears is delicious with creamy, rich cheese and slight spices. Amazing hot or cold! 

    Saffron-spiced poached pears with Gorgonzola walnuts

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 45 mins


    • 6 small pears, peeled, stalks intact
    • 200g walnuts
    • 250g Gorgonzola, to serve
    • Syrup

    • 500g castor sugar
    • 250ml (1 cup) water
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • peel of 1 lemon
    • 3 cloves
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 cardamom pod
    • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
    • a pinch of saffron
    • 5cm fresh ginger, sliced



    Preheat the oven to 180°C.


    Place all of the syrup ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook the syrup until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is fairly thick, 10 – 12 minutes.


    Add the pears to the syrup and poach over medium heat until just tender, 6 – 10 minutes (be careful not to overcook them; they must keep their shape).


    When cooked, remove the pears from the heat and cool.


    Line a baking tray with baking paper and add the walnuts. Spoon 30 – 45ml (2 – 3 tbsp) of pear syrup over the walnuts. Bake until slightly caramelised, about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.


    To serve, place a pear in a serving bowl, scatter with candied walnuts and add sliced Gorgonzola. Drizzle 15 – 30ml (1 – 2 tbsp) of syrup over each pear.


    Cook's tip: These are delicious served cold. Pair with a strong soft cheese of your choice. A blue cheese variety works very well.