Poached Pears with Rhubarb & Strawberry Jam

Autumn is the season for pears (yum yum) and rhubarb (more yum yum!). Although not commonly paired, the tartness of rhubarb complements the pear's sweetness perfectly. This dessert is quick and easy to throw together for an Autumn dinner party. You can prepare all the components earlier, then simply assemble just before serving! I used some gorgeous organic Seckel pears from my local farmers' market, but you could use any variety, especially Bosc which is renowned for cooking.

Poached Pears
1 pear per person
5 cloves
2 cinnamon quills
2 tbsp leatherwood honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Peel and cut each pear in half, removing the seeds with a teaspoon to keep the half in tact and looking pretty. Place in a small pot and add enough water to just cover. Add cinnamon quills, cloves, brown sugar, honey and lemon juice and slowly bring to the boil. Slow to a simmer for approximately 15 minutes, then remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the poaching liquid.

Rhubarb & Strawberry jam
6 stalks of rhubarb (remember to discard the leaves as they are poisonous)
6 organic strawberries
3 tbsp brown sugar

Cut rhubarb into large chunks and place in a small pan. Squish the strawberries in your hands (over the pan) to release the beautiful juices, and add to the rhubarb. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top, then cook over a medium heat until the rhubarb has softened and the whole mixture looks like jam. This should take approximately 10-15 minutes. The mixture might look a little dry to begin with but don't be tempted to add water as the rhubarb releases a lot of liquid once it starts to cook. Allow to cool.

To assemble, place two pear halves in a glass and spoon over a little of the poaching liquid. Top with a dollop each of rhubarb jam and thickened cream. Delicious!


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