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
- 6 small pears, peeled, stalks intact
- 200g walnuts
- 250g Gorgonzola, to serve
- 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.