This has become our showpiece when guests come, serves 4. Simple and prepare ahead of time.


600 mls water
200g white sugar
good pinch genuine saffron threads (read the label, no 102 tartrazine!)
4 pears, peeled with stalk on
tsp gin or whiskey if desired

In a 1 litre saucepan, dissolve sugar in water, add saffron, put in the pears (it doesn’t matter if they fall over) and bring to simmer for 30 mins. Lift pears out gently by stalk, supporting with a spoon, and cool standing up in a bowl. Reduce the remaining syrup by continuing to simmer gently until dark gold and starting to thicken - don’t burn or turn it into pear toffee. Cool. Stand each pear on a plate and pour over syrup just before serving with icecream of choice, cream etc. For an extra kick, half a teaspoon of gin or whiskey trickled over the served pear gives some bite.