Ainsley Harriott's Coffee and Rum-Poached Pears with Crunchy Coconut Crumb

Rich, sophisticated and imbued with the flavours of the Caribbean, these rum-poached pears from ITV's Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen make for a wonderful grown up dessert.

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Introduction

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is considered to be amongst the best in the world – every bean is hand inspected and it takes twice as long as other coffee to mature. I had the luxury of cooking with Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica, but it is quite expensive so feel free to use your favourite blend for this recipe. This is an elegant looking dessert and the gently-spiced soft pears are topped with a crunchy coconut crumb for texture.

Serves 4
Easy

Ingredients

600ml freshly made strong filter coffee
50g brown sugar
1 star anise
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
75ml dark rum
4 firm dessert pears, such as Rocha or Comice
For the Coconut Crumb:
30g plain flour
30g butter, cold, cubed
30g caster sugar
30g coconut flakes

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190C /170C fan/gas 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Pour the coffee into a saucepan with a lid that is large enough to hold the pears snugly, add the sugar, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and rum and heat gently over a low heat.

Meanwhile, carefully peel the pears, leaving the stalks intact. Add the pears to the pan and poach over a medium heat, covered with the lid, for 20–30 minutes or until tender, shaking the pan occasionally. The poaching liquid should be nice and syrupy; if not, remove the pears and reduce the spiced coffee over a high heat.

Meanwhile, make the coconut crumb. Place the flour, butter, sugar and coconut into a bowl and rub together with your fingers to the texture of breadcrumbs. Spread over the lined baking tray and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.

Remove the pears from the heat and allow to cool slightly in the spiced coffee mixture. Transfer to a bowl and chill (or serve warm, if preferred).

To serve, place a pear in a shallow serving dish, strain the coffee syrup over the top and scatter over some of the coconut crumb.

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