Poached Pears in Ginger Syrup

Alan Coxon spices up a traditional poached fruit dessert with ginger syrup and lemon grass syllabub
By Alan Coxon
Poached Pears in Ginger Syrup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 ml water
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 45 ml brandy, or schnapps
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 pears

For the lemon grass cordial

  • 300 ml water
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

For the lemon grass syllabub

  • 280 ml double cream, or crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon grass cordial
  • 45 ml dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 pieces preserved ginger, thinly sliced
  • grated lemon zest, to decorate


1. Combine the water, sugar, grated zest, ginger, cloves, white wine, brandy and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Gently simmer the liquid for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before lowering the pears into the poaching liquid, making sure they are fully submerged.

2. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and poach gently for 10-15 minutes (the duration will depend on the ripeness of the pears). When the pears are soft, remove from the heat and leave them to cool in the syrup. Once cooled, remove the skin with a small knife and return the pears to the syrup.

3. To make the lemon grass cordial, combine the water, caster sugar, lemon grass, ginger and the lemon juice and zest in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Cool, then strain.

4. To make the syllabub, place the cream or crème fraîche in a mixing bowl and whisk in the icing sugar until combined.

5. In a jug, mix together the cordial, wine, lemon zest and juice. Gently and gradually pour the wine mixture into the cream, whisking until the cream just holds its shape. Spoon the dessert into wine glasses and top with the preserved ginger and the zest.

6. Serve the poached pears, either hot or cold, with the lemon grass syllabub.

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