Poached pears with blackberry sauce

So often if it nice to serve a fruit based pudding after a richer main course. This is wonderful in colour and a great change from fruit salad. Blackcurrants work just as well as blackberries. To make extra special, add a tablespoon of Cassis to the puree.


6 pears
350g (12oz) granulated sugar
1.2 litre (2 pints) water
A few strips of lemon peel

Blackberry puree
450g (1lb) blackberries
100g (4oz) granulated sugar


Achieving the perfect results

  1. To poach the pears, measure the sugar, water and lemon peel into a saucepan, just large enough to take the pears in a single layer.
  2. Heat the sugar syrup gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Carefully peel the pears, keeping the stems in place.
  4. Place the pears in the hot syrup, cover with a wet sheet of greaseproof paper (this ensures the top of the pears do not dry out). Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and gently simmer for about 30-45 minutes (depends on the ripeness of the pears) until the pears are just tender. In an AGA oven, bring to the boil, cover and transfer to the simmering oven for about 40 minutes.
  5. To make the blackberry purée, measure the blackberries and sugar into a pan cook for a few minutes until the juices start to run. Spoon into a sieve and press through the sieve over a bowl to make a thickish puree.
  6. When the pears are cold, remove them from the syrup and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Cut each pear in half through the stem (lengthways) and remove the core.
  7. Arrange in on a platter, half rounded sides down and the other halves cut side up. Coat the cut side with the blackberry puree and a little extra around the plate.

Preparing ahead

The pears can be poached up to 12 hours ahead and kept in the syrup until serving. Puree can be made up to three days ahead.

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