Poached pears with Earl Grey ganache and spiced jellies
- December 2012
- Serves 4
- Takes 45 min to make, 20 min to cook, plus 3 hours chilling
This dessert is perfect as dinner party showstopper, or a Christmas pudding alternative, combining rich chocolate and cream with fresh pear and fragrant Earl Grey tea.
- 17.2g (10.5g saturated)
- 3.2g protein
- 87.4g (83.1g sugars)
- 5.2g fibre
For the ganache
- 75ml double cream
- 3g Earl Grey tea leaves
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
For the spiced jellies
- 8g Earl Grey tea leaves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
- Peeled zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 4 gelatine leaves (we used Costa)
- Vegetable oil for greasing
For the poached pears
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 pared strip of lemon zest
- 15g Earl Grey tea leaves
- 4 pears (williams work best)
- Buttery biscuits to serve (we like Bonne Maman Galettes)
- Make the jellies. Put the tea in an infuser or wrap in muslin, then put in a pan with the cinnamon stick, sugar, vanilla pod, citrus zests and 400ml cold water. Slowly heat until steaming – don’t let it boil. Leave on a low heat for 2 minutes, remove the muslin/tea, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 more minutes.
- While the jelly liquid infuses, soak the gelatine in cold water for 2 minutes, then squeeze out any excess water. Strain the jelly liquid (discard the flavourings), add the gelatine and whisk until melted. Heat gently if the gelatine doesn’t melt properly, still whisking, but don’t let it boil. Pour into lightly greased 80ml moulds (or 100ml ramekins), cool, then chill for about 3 hours until set.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache. Put the cream and tea leaves in a small pan, heat gently until steaming, then keep on a very low heat for 2 minutes (don’t boil) to infuse. Put the chocolate and sugar in a heatproof bowl, then strain the hot cream into it and set over a pan of hot but not simmering water on a medium-low heat (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk until the chocolate and sugar have melted. Take off the heat and leave to cool until softly set – about 1-1½ hours.
- For the poached pears, put 1 litre water in a pan with the sugar and lemon zest, then bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea leaves in an infuser or wrapped in muslin. Infuse for 3 minutes – no longer or it will taste tannic. Peel the pears, leaving the stalks intact. Rub each pear gently with a tea towel to smooth the outside, then put in a pan just big enough to hold all 4.
- Strain the poaching liquid over the pears, put over a medium heat and bring back to the boil. Cover the surface of the liquid with a disc of baking paper and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for around 15 minutes or until the pears are just tender.
- Remove from the heat and leave the pears to cool in the liquid. When cool, take the pears out of the liquid and set aside. Put the pan of liquid back on the hob and bubble until it reduces to a thick, sticky caramel (this will take about 10-15 minutes).
- Next, fill the pears with ganache. Slice a little off the bases, so they stand upright, then use a melon baller or apple corer to create a cavity for the ganache at the base end of each pear. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag (or a small, clean plastic bag with the corner snipped off) and fill each pear’s cavity. Chill until needed, but serve the pears at room temperature so the ganache is fudgy (see Chef’s tip).
- To serve, dip the jelly moulds briefly in hot water before inverting on to plates – shake to release. Place a pear upright next to the jelly and spoon the warm caramel over the top. Serve with buttery biscuits.
Poach the pears, fill with ganache and keep covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours – but take them out an hour before serving.
Reduce the caramel/syrup and leave it somewhere cool overnight, then warm gently on the hob before serving.
The jellies can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
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