Supermarket freezer aisles can be a lifesaver if you get a last-minute dinner invitation. It’s adorable to show up to a friend’s place with a box of mini Magnums every now and then, but sometimes a bring-a-dessert situation calls for a somewhat fancier affair. There are very few cakes that can be cooked, cooled and iced in the hour between work and dinner, so here’s a quick (and somewhat healthy!) dessert recipe that’s totally perfect for those afternoons when your mate spontaneously decides to invite half her friendship group over for a dinner party. I tend to make this recipe a lot in summer as you can serve the pears cold for a more refreshing dessert. Hot tip: Make extra poached pears and have them on your cereal for breakfast. They are divine!
Vanilla-poached pears with rosewater and toasted coconut yoghurt
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
- 4 corella pears, peeled, stems intact
- 1 litre water
- 1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out (keep empty pod)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 3 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1/2 punnet strawberries, to serve
- 1/2 punnet blueberries, to serve
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, to serve
Toasted coconut yoghurt:
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 1 litre thick Greek-style yoghurt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Place water, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod seeds, empty vanilla pod and cardamom pods in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add pears and cover with a lid, reduce to a simmer and let pears poach for about 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from the poaching liquid.
- Meanwhile, place desiccated coconut on an oven tray and bake at 200°C until toasty and brown (about 5 mins – make sure you watch your coconut it can burn very quickly).
- Mix rosewater, coconut (reserving a small amount of coconut to sprinkle on top when serving) and sugar into Greek yoghurt.
- Serve pears in a bowl with yoghurt, berries and a light drizzle of maple syrup.
If you’re taking this to a friend’s house, pop the pears, yoghurt and berries each their own plastic containers. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. If you want to serve the pears hot, just pop them in a ceramic dish in the microwave for about a minute. They don’t need to be piping hot, just lightly warmed as if they’d just been poached and serve the yoghurt and berries cold. Delish!
Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle.com which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. She's the co-founder of of blog school Little Blog Big and co-host of podcasts Straight & Curly (for life improvement junkies) and Sweet Teen Club (for those of us who can't leave the '90s behind). Hoop earrings are totally her thing, Benedict Cumberbatch is her Beyoncé and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.