Calvados-poached pears with cardamom custard and sesame brittle

Calvados-poached pears with cardamom custard and sesame brittle

Make a calvados and perry syrup to poach pears in and serve with sweet-savoury sesame brittle and lashings of silky cardamom-infused custard for a stylish autumnal pud
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the calvados syrup by combining the calvados, perry, sugar and lemon juice in a pan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Peel the pears, cut in half lengthways then use a melon baller to remove the cores. Put the pears into the syrup pan, cover the surface of the pan with baking paper and gently simmer for 30 mins until the pears are really tender. Remove from the pan onto a plate, then reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup.
  2. Step 2

    To make the brittle, line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat the sugar in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, swirling the pan until fully melted. Turn up the heat and cook until a caramel forms, the colour of a rusty penny. Quickly pour the caramel onto the baking tray and carefully spread to an even layer. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cool completely, then break into small shards.
  3. Step 3

    For the custard, pour the milk and cream into a pan, and add the cardamom. Heat over a low-medium heat, stirring every now and again, until just simmering. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 mins. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and whisk until lightened in colour. Bring the infused milk back to a simmer, then carefully pour a third over the egg mixture, while whisking vigorously. Pour over another third of the cream mixture while whisking, then add the remaining milk. Pour back into the pan and put over a low-medium heat. Cook for 10-15 mins, stirring all the time and scraping the bottom to ensure it doesn’t catch, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Step 4

    Serve two pear halves per person with a good spoonful of the syrup, and sprinkle over plenty of the sesame brittle. Serve with the cardamom custard alongside.