2tablespoonhoney, (or brown rice syrup or maple syrup)
1teaspoonfinely grated fresh ginger
¼teaspoonfreshly ground cardamom seeds, (see recipe notes)
Pinchground black pepper
4-6pears, (depending how many will fit in your saucepan)
Before you start, check how many un-peeled pears you can fit into a deep saucepan with a lid. The pears should fit in one layer. Snug is fine, but they need a little room so they can be turned during cooking.
Combine all ingredients except the pears in the saucepan and stir to combine over medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and prepare the pears.
Peel the pears, leaving the stem intact if possible. Put the pears into the poaching liquid, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the pears are very tender. Turn after 10 minutes to ensure the pears cook evenly. Test for doneness by piercing the thick base of the pear with a bread and butter knife, which should meet very little resistance.
Remove pears to a plate and set aside at room temperature if serving warm, or pop in the fridge for later if serving chilled (both are delicious).
Simmer the remaining poaching liquid for about 20 minutes, until reduced by about three-quarters. Strain through a sieve and discard the chunky bits. Chill if desired.
Serve with yoghurt, ice cream or custard and drizzle pears with a little poaching liquid.
Nutrition information is estimate based on using four pears.
Fresh is best when it comes to ground cardamom. Try to buy either whole cardamom seeds or pods then grind by hand using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. A quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom is equivalent to the seeds from approximately six pods.
The quantity of pears is flexible depending on the size of your saucepan. I was able to fit five in mine. If you have a bigger pan that can fit six, add a splash more water.
Pears can be stored in the fridge for a few days once cooked. If doing this, put them in a glass storage container (turmeric stains) and pour the reduced cooking liquid over them to keep them moist.