Recipe: Bourbon-poached Pears with Ginger Snaps + Maple Cream



O, Romeo … thou a Poperin Pear.

O, dessert… thou a well-poached pear…

During the winter months when drizzle and grey and bugs are a-plenty I always find myself craving a well-spiced hot toddy with a good bourbon and maple syrup. Although I would claim this to be a princess among desserts, I wanted to create something a little more satisfying, but still light and flavoursome, to see us through the winter months when we have far more time indoors to cook up something beautiful.



Step up poached pears with all the fixins’. The bourbon and spices create a warm syrup that complements Conference pears super sweetly. Of course a dish comprised of just fruit and alcohol should really be served as a cocktail… so complete this dessert by whipping up some quick and easy ginger snaps and coconut maple cream, and then you’ve a proper pudding to indulge in.

Bourbon-poached Pears with Ginger Snaps + Maple Cream


For the coconut cream
2 400ml tins of full fat coconut milk (choose a brand with as few additives as possible)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the ginger snaps
50g dairy-free sunflower spread
50g sugar (use coconut sugar if preferred)
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp molasses
125g plain flour (use a gluten-free blend if preferred)
0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.25 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the pears
4 ripe Conference pears
Juice of 1 lemon
600ml water
300g sugar (use coconut sugar if preferred)
200ml bourbon (I used vegan-friendly brand Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey)
1 vanilla pod, split
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
For the coconut cream
  1. Place two tins of coconut milk in the fridge the night before preparation or whilst preparing the other sections of the dessert (this allows the cream to separate from the water)
  2. Remove the cream sections of coconut from each tin and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat using hand mixture for 10 minutes until the coconut cream is lightly whipped.
For the ginger snaps
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a saucepan over a low heat melt the sunflower spread, coconut sugar, agave syrup, molasses and vanilla, stirring to combine.
  3. Once the mixture has combined remove from heat and sift in remaining ingredients, stirring to form a paste-like dough.
  4. Use a tablespoon measure to drop spoons full of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving at least two inches between each dollop.
  5. Bake on a middle shelf for 8 minutes until ginger snaps are browned.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  7. Break up ginger snaps when cooled in desired shapes to serve with the pears.
For the pears
  1. Peel each pear and cut out the very base of the core using a knife.
  2. Coat each pear in lemon juice while preparing the poaching liquid to prevent discolouration.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a medium pan and dissolve the coconut sugar in it.
  4. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the bourbon, vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks and star anise.
  5. Place pears in the pan and poach for 25 minutes until soft but intact.
  6. Remove the pears and reserve on a plate. Turn up the heat again and simmer the remaining poaching liquid for 20 minutes to form a syrup.



Recipe: Bourbon-poached Pears with Ginger Snaps + Maple Cream

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