Spicy Poached Pears with Sorbet and Blackberries

Poached Pears are the most requested dessert that people ask me to cook. They can be prepared in advance making it a great dish to serve large groups of people.

6 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10-15 minutes


Poaching Syrup

  • 750ml light red wine
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • 6 pears, peeled


  • 200-250g blackberries

To Serve

  • Pear sorbet (see recipe)
  • Blackberry Sorbet (see pear sorbet recipe for instructions) or
  • A good quality shop bought sorbet eg. lemon and strawberry


  1. Poaching Syrup: Place the red wine, caster sugar, cinnamon stick, chilies, star anise, ginger and cardamom pods in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Leave it to simmer for 15 minutes so that the flavours are infused.
  2. Pears: Place the pears in the simmering liquid and reduce the temperature to just a simmer and leave them to cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to cool. Store the pears in a sealed container with a little of the cooking liquid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  3. Blackberries: Take 350ml of the pear poaching syrup and place it in a saucepan over a high heat. Bring the syrup to the boil then remove it from the heat. Place the blackberries in the syrup and allow them to cool in it. Place the blackberries with the syrup in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. To Serve: Carefully slice the pears in half and decore them with a small knife or large melon baller. Place 2 halves in eahc serving bowl. Pour the blackberries with the syrup around the pears. Place a scoop of pear or lemon sorbet in the centre of one half of each pear where you have removed the core (a melon baller can be used as a scoop). Place a scoop of blackberry sorbet or red sorbet of your choice in the centre of the other half pear. Serve at once.