Caramel poached pears

Photographer: Adam
Serves 6-8


Somehow I’m often relegated to dessert duty at any sort of gathering of food and friends. At this time of year these caramel poached pears are the perfect choice usually because I am powerless to resist all the beautiful pears in baskets at the Dunedin farmers’ market and always end up with too many for just my family. The pears can be prepared ahead, transported in the pot and reheated just a few minutes before serving.”


600g sugar
120ml water
2tbsp clear honey
250ml hot water
2 Oranges
6-8 large firm pears (peeled and cut flat on the base so they sit up)
300ml cream


1. Place sugar in the centre of a saucepan (make sure it is the right size for the pears to fit in snugly). Add honey and pour the first measure of water around the outside of the sugar.
2. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, gently stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture starts to simmer remove the spoon and don’t stir again. Watch for sugar crystals on the side of the pan and if you see some gently wash them down with a wet pastry brush.
3. Peel the oranges with a veggie peeler to make strips, and then juice the oranges.
4. Once the caramel is a rich amber colour add the hot water, juice, pears and peel. Do this very carefully as the caramel will spatter. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until pears become tender.
5. Remove the lid and add the cream, then continue to simmer without the lid until the caramel has reduced down by about a third.
6. Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream. Yummo!