It takes exceptional instinct for a grower to know precisely when to pick their Comice Pears. If ripening at home, feel for slight give at the top and base of the fruit as an indication of texture of the flesh.

We use Bernard’s Comice Pears from his farm in Combe Longue, Toulouse, which dates back to the French revolution. With generations of fruit-growing expertise behind him, Bernard is able to pinpoint each stage of maturity, knowing the precise moment for picking, ripening and eating as second nature. In this dish, the Sergi Family’s Calabrian Bergamot lends floral notes to his warmly spiced pears.


For the poached pears:

  • 4 Comice Pears
  • 300ml red wine
  • 150g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves

    For the crumble:

  • 100g unbleached white flour*
  • 65g white sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • Zest of 1 Bergamot
  • Pinch salt
  • Instructions:

     For the poached pears:

  • Combine wine, sugar, water and spices in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Peel the pears and place them whole in the hot poaching liquid, cover with a cartouche and simmer for three minutes then turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Leave for 30 - 40 minutes until the pears are soft but hold their shape. Remove them from the liquid and set aside.
  • Reduce the poaching liquid on a rolling boil until you reach a syrupy consistency. Strain to remove poaching spices.

  • For the bergamot crumble:

  • Set oven to 170°C.
  • Melt the butter in a pan. Combine dry ingredients and bergamot zest then pour in the melted butter and mix together. Spread out the mix on a lined tray and bake until you have a golden crumble. Break up the crumble with your hands.
  • Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the core then warm them through in the syrup. Place half a pear on each plate and spoon over the warm syrup.
  • Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, a spoonful of bergamot crumble and a little bergamot zest to finish.

    Recipe from Natoora.