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Poached Pears With Custard

Poached pears are a super simple, yet delicious dessert.

Serving: 4
Time: Less than 1hr
Difficulty: Easy


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 175ml water
  • 75ml Fino sherry
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 4 conference pears, peeled but with stalk left on if possible
  • 250ml double cream
  • 650ml full-fat milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Combine the sugar, water and sherry and bring to the boil. Slide in the star anise, orange peel and pears and a cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper to keep the pears below the surface. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat. Remove the pears.
  2. Put the cream and milk into a pan and gently bring to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl along with the cornflour, sugar and vanilla. Pour over the hot milk mixture, whisking all the time.
  3. Clean your saucepan or use a new one and reheat the mixture over a gentle heat until it thickens. Take care you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.
  4. Serve the custard with the pears.