White wine, saffron and cardamom poached pears

We cooked this dessert at an Ottolenghi course at The Leith School of Food and Wine and it was cracking and easy as well. It rocks my world.


  • 4 firm pears, peeled and kept whole
  • 700ml white wine or in other words one bottle
  • 12 cardamon pods
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • Yogurt or creme fraiche to serve


  1. Add the wine, caster sugar, cardamon, saffron and lemon juice to a saucepan. Dissolve sugar and simmer.
  2. Have a circle of parchment paper cut out just a little bit bigger than the circumference of the saucepan. We crumpled the paper and ran it under the tap, that’s what Ottolenghi told us to do and it works because you can push the paper down around the pears when they’re cooking.
  3. When the liquid is simmering, add the pears (ensuring they are fully submerged – add a bit of water if they aren’t) and put the cartouche over the pears to help keep them under the liqueur.
  4. Simmer the pears for 15 – 20 minutes or until you can push a butter knife easily into the flesh.
  5. When the pears are cooked, remove and put into the dish you want to serve in. Keep the leftover liquid in the saucepan and start to reduce.
  6. When it’s reduced by about a third – it’ll look noticeably thicker – it’s ready to use.

Serve the pear with a good helping of the liquid sauce and add a good dollop of creme fraiche or yogurt.












And these are the ones we made it with Ottolenghi

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