Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Second of the Pair of Pears - Saffron

Well the Varoma has been in overdrive since it arrived home and pears are flavour of the moment.

This recipe has been adapted from a book published by Murdoch Books entitled “Spice Market” by Jane Lawson. The back cover of the book has a photo of a pear with a toffeed saffron syrup. It looks delicious and good enough to eat straight off the page.

I first met Jane on a trip to Spain, which was to research Spanish cuisine for her book "Cocina Nueva". ( Now also in paperback). She has a great passion for food and I recommend her books for great ideas ( the photos are fantastic too) . She has been involved in many of the food related titles from Murdoch books recently.

The cream for the photo was whipped in the Thermomix also. It is a great machine.

Poached Pears in Saffron Syrup


1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbsp water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways & cut into 4 pieces
200g sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
500g water
4 pears, peeled and cores removed from underneath with a corer or parisienne spoon
500g water for steaming


Place the saffron threads in 1 Tbsp water and leave for 1 hour to allow them to soften.

Put half of the saffron threads and their soaking water, the vanilla bean pieces, sugar, lemon zest and 500 g water into the Thermomix bowl. Cook for 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 2 to dissolve the sugar and develop the flavour of the poaching liquor.

Place the pears in a bowl that fits into the Varoma and cover with the poaching liquor. Place a lid or plastic film over the bowl.

Add 500ml of water into the Thermomix bowl (there is no need to clean it) and place lid on and Varoma over lid. Steam the pears for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. You may need to move the pears in the poaching liquor to ensure they are evenly coated with liquor and cooked. Cook until tender when tested with a skewer.

Once cooked, carefully remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon, place in Thermoserver or oven to keep warm.

Empty the water from the Thermomix bowl and lightly clean. Pour the poaching liquor into the bowl and put lid on. Cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3 without the Measuring Cup in place to allow the syrup to reduce and thicken slightly. Add the remaining saffron threads and mix for 30 seconds on speed Soft to incorporate the threads.

Serve the pears with the sauce spooned over and some whipped cream on the side.


  1. You are definitely on fire, I love pears, and saffron fascinates me as an ingredient. I'm cooking that tomorrow. Have you been sleeping at all since you got that Varoma or just cooking?

  2. Isn't the varoma wonderful? In many ways it's my favourite part of the TM. I love the whole meal in one concept. So easy and philosophically sound.

  3. Rick - sorry, I thought that I left a reply for you explaining that I can't sleep when I've got a new toy. The aussie classic has been posted - no not a pav.

    Dani - the Varoma is wonderful. Tonight I hope to translate one of brazen's dishes for the TMX using my new toy. It sure makes sense to me - need to convert my other half.

  4. Great recipe...returned from India with a bucket load of saffron and pear season ...this recipe has had a workout. A real winner. Thx

    1. Thank Jane Lawson for the inspiration