Bella Donovan poached Pears with Honey-curry sauce

The following recipe is originally by user Jo Jo Ba on the cooking site, Group Recipes. Kimi decided to give it a try, expecting the result to be amazing or the very opposite and a waste of good coffee and good pears. She was delighted to discover that the coffee didn’t taste bitter, the honey sauce wasn’t overpowering, and Jo Jo Ba sure knows how to blend flavors to bring out the best of the ingredients.


Bella Donovan poached Pears with Honey-curry sauce

The original recipe by Jo Jo Ba on Group Recipes, can be found here. Small modifications have been made.

A bag of Bella Donovan beans and a french press.

For the pears:

  • 2 cups fresh-brewed high quality coffee such as Blue Bottle’s Bella Donovan
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large Taylor’s Gold pears

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons wildflower or clover honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Begin with high quality coffee with a robust flavor. I chose Blue Bottle’s Bella Donovan and brewed it extra strong in a french press. While the coffee is brewing, halve, peel, and core your pears.

The dish as pictured was made with one Warren and one Taylor’s Gold for comparison. The results were very different and appealing in their own rights.

The Warren pear’s unique flavor brings a hint of vanilla to the dish with more of a focus on the taste of pear. The texture of the Warren was firmer overall and the sweetness stood out more against the sweetness of the honey. With the Taylor’s Gold, the richness of the coffee was more apparent and the dish as a whole blended together more. Although I enjoyed both, when I make this again, I’ll be using the Taylor’s Gold as I felt its sweetness and texture better contributed to the dish.

Poached pears simmering in Blue Bottle coffee.

In a medium-sized skillet, combine the brown sugar and coffee and bring to gentle boil. Lower the pear halves into the coffee and return to a gentle boil, reducing to a simmer and covering the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes, then gently turn and continue cooking until tender (roughly 8-12 minutes).

Remove the pan from the heat. If you’re like me and made extra coffee to sip at, take a moment to enjoy what’s left in your cup. You’ll want the pears to continue sitting in the hot liquid for another 10 minutes.

A cup of Blue Bottle coffee and a Frog Hollow Taylor's Gold pear.

Remove the pears from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon or spatula, cover and chill. You can chill the pears on the plates they will be served on as extra liquid from the poaching will pool nicely around the pears, however chilled plates will quickly solidify the honey sauce. If you want the honey to solidify for presentation, I’d suggest chilling plates separately. In general I’d chill the pears separately and serve on room temperature plates, allowing for the spice and temperature heat of the honey to more strongly contrast the chill of the pears.

A plate of poached pears drizzled with a honey curry sauce.

For the sauce, simply combine honey and curry in a small saucepan at medium-heat. Remove from stove and allow the honey to rest. When pears are chilled through, transfer to dessert plates and drizzle with the honey. If the honey has thickened too much, simply warm it again until it is smooth and falls nicely from a spoon. The original recipe suggests adding the freshly ground black pepper along with the curry, however, when next I make this, I will be grinding it fresh for each serving.


Photos on this page by Kimi Owens, a contributer and editor of this site. Images are licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

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