I love the simplicity of these poached pears that Janni Kyritsis taught me to make many years ago. At MG Garage, he served them alongside a delicate cardamom-scented blancmange made with yoghurt – I like them with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or dollop of Chantilly cream, or just on their own for a sweet ending to a picnic lunch! You want a slightly fruity white wine for this dish, I use White Fences sauvignon blanc from Mudgee … and drink the rest of the bottle with the dessert.
- 2 cups fruity white wine
- 2 cups water
- 1¼ cups castor sugar
- Generous pinch saffron threads (see note)
- 4 small firm pears
Note: Use top-quality saffron stamens, such as those imported from Iran by Saffron & More, for the distinctive aroma and beautiful colour they impart.
- Place wine, water, sugar and saffron into a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears snugly and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
- Meanwhile, peel and core pears.
- Add pears to the wine mixture; if necessary, add enough boiling water to just cover the pears.
- Reduce heat, cover with a piece of baking paper and a lid and cook on the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until tender.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool in the poaching liquid.
- Cover and refrigerate until needed.