The Food Gatherer's Note: This is a lovely light and delicate dessert to serve at the end of a heavy meal. It's taken from one of my favourite recipe books of the last few years, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. Serve the pears with good vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of runny honey if you have a sweeter tooth.
CARDAMON & ROSEWATER POACHED PEARS
12/16 cardamon pods, bruised or crushed a little
300g caster sugar
6 smooth skinned pears
chopped pistachio nuts for scattering
Fill a large saucepan almost to the brim with boiling water and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Add the rosewater, crushed cardamon pods and sugar, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Peel the pears carefully, leaving the stems intact. Remove the cores from the bases of the pears using a small sharp knife. Place the peeled and cored pears upright int he poaching liquid and poach for 30 - 35 minutes, or until tender - you should be able to pierce them with a cocktail stick with no resistance. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and set aside.
Serve warm with a little of the poaching liquid and a scattering of chopped pistachios.