Spiced Poached Pears, Walnut Crumbs, White Chocolate Ice Cream

The Trustee Chef Brian Miller shares his Spiced Poached Pears recipe available on the dessert menu at The Trustee, with the Easter addition of white chocolate ice cream, because it’s Easter. And why not!


For the Poached Pears:

6 Just Ripened Packham Pears

500ml Water

250ml Red Wine (use a shiraz for a fuller flavor)

250ml Tawny Port

250g Castor Sugar

50g Honey

1ea Vanilla Bean Split and Scraped

1ea Star Anise

1ea Cinnamon Quill

1ea Navel Orange - Juiced and Zested

2g Black Pepper Corns

1g Whole Cloves

For the Walnut Crumbs:

110 g Plain Flour

¼ tsp Baking Powder

75g Fridge Cold Salted Butter

100g Walnut Pieces

75g Castor Sugar

For the White Chocolate Ice Cream:

500ml Whipping Cream

6ea Egg Yolks

45g Glucose Syrup

150g Castor Sugar

250g Chopped White Chocolate or Buttons

500ml Full Cream Milk

For Garnish:

6ea Mint Crowns or 24 leaves of Lemon Balm

100g White Chocolate Block to Grate Over the Plate



For the Poached Pears:

Starting with the poaching liquid: In a large sized sauce pot combine all ingredients except for the pears, whisk everything together to combine thoroughly and place over medium heat. Bring to the simmer and remove from the heat to let the spices infuse, reserve.

For the pears: Peel and quarter the pears then remove the core. Place in a bowl of cold water with the juice of 1 lemon to prevent oxidization. Place the liquid back on a medium heat and bring back to a simmer. Once simmering add the pears into the liquid and cover with baking Paper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the pears for 30-40 minutes or until JUST tender.

Remove from the heat and let stand until the pears have come down to room temperature. If not using straight away the pears can be cooled and used for up to 2-3 days later. When storing always keep the pears completely submersed in the poaching liquor and tightly wrapped.

For the Walnut Crumbs:

Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees C: In a food processor, combine the Flour, Baking Powder, and Butter and blend to thoroughly combine. The mix should have a sandy texture. Once combined add the Sugar and Walnuts and pulse a couple of times making sure to leave the Walnuts fairly coarse.

Spread the mix evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled place the mix into a medium sized mixing bowl and crumble coarsely with your hands. Store in an air tight container until ready to serve.

For the White Chocolate Ice Cream:

Start by making a light ganache by bringing the Milk to the boil in a medium sauce pan and pour over the White Chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula gently stir the mix until the Chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and lump free. Cover with baking paper and reserve.

Next, bring the Cream to the boil in a medium sauce pot and remove from the heat, stir in the Glucose until dissolved and reserve. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined and the Sugar has dissolved, pour the Cream over the Egg and Sugar mixture and whisk gently to thoroughly combine. Add the Ganache and whisk together.

Now cook the mix over a pot of simmering water stirring constantly for 5-6 minutes until the mix has slightly thickened, it should be able to coat the back of a spoon. Try swiping your finger across the coated spoon, if the swipe holds then it’s done.

Once the mix is cooked, cover with baking paper and chill to 3 degrees C. Transfer the custard to an ice cream machine and churn until JUST frozen being careful not to over churn as the ice cream will become grainy and icy once set. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and let set in the freezer for 2-3 hours.  

To Serve:

Over a medium heat, bring the pears and poaching liquor to a simmer, remove from the heat and let stand for 5-7 minutes so the pears are tender and warm. Remove the pears from the liquid and place on a kitchen towel to remove any excess liquid. In a large pasta bowl, place the pears in a cross pattern and top the middle with 2 tblsp of the walnut crumbs. Place a scoop of the white chocolate ice cream on top of the crumbs and place a few leaves of mint or lemon balm around the plate. Grate the white chocolate over the entire dish using a micro-plane or fine grater.

Serve and enjoy!