It’s no secret that our family enjoys a cafe brunch. We live in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne where cafe culture is pretty much the only culture, and everyone is a coffee snob. One of Arty’s first phrases was “skinny flat white”. I wish I was kidding (except not really because it was adorable).

I like to brunch, and I enjoy a special breakfast, but some mornings I just don’t have it in me to run a brush through my hair or put pants on to go out and be seen among the hipsters.

Enter the poached pear. It feels like a special fancy treat, but it is honestly easier than the pants and the hairbrush.

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Cardamom, ginger, and lime poached pears

  • 2 firm but ripe pears, peeled
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • Juice of two large limes
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 cups water

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  1. Bash your cardamom pods with the end of a rolling pin, or in a mortar and pestle to bruise them and release the seeds.
  2. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning at 5 minute intervals, until pears are tender.
  4. Serve warm or cold.


N.B. Many poached pear recipes produce a yummy poaching liquid that is nice to eat with your pear. This is not one of them. The poaching liquid has bits of ginger pulp and cardamom pod it, and has not been sweetened enough to counter the tartness of the lime. It’s there to infuse the pear with punchy flavours and then be discarded.

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I’ve served this with some coconut yoghurt and chopped walnuts, but it’s yummy diced up on top of porridge or muesli too.

Even better still, this recipe does double duty as dessert – serve it with ice cream or custard (or both, if you’re me) and feel fancy.