Pears poached in pear cider with oatmeal crackers

This elegant combination from Paul Flynn brings the dessert and cheese course together on one plate
Pears poached in pear cider with oatmeal crackers
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour resting time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the oatmeal crackers (makes 30 crackers, see Cooks note)

  • 225 g butter, softened
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 200 g jumbo oats
  • 80 g sugar

For the pears

  • 8 semi-ripe pears
  • 1 litres pear cider
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

To serve

  • 250 g Crozier blue cheese, or other creamy blue cheese
  • small bunch watercress
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut oil

Tips and Suggestions

Cook's note: store any leftover oatmeal crackers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Method

1. For the oatmeal crackers: cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then mix in the flour, oats and sugar.

2. Transfer the dough to a sheet of cling film and roll into a sausage shape about 5cm in diameter. Twist the ends of the cling film to tightly seal the dough and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour, or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 2. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

4. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1cm-thick slices. Arrange on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until a light golden colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. For the pears: peel the pears and sit them in a deep saucepan. Add all the remaining pear ingredients and add enough water to just cover the pears.

6. Bring to a gentle simmer and poach for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid.

7. To serve, cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear so they can sit upright and arrange on serving plates. Top the oatmeal crackers with slices of the cheese, dress the watercress with a little hazelnut oil and serve all together.

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