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October 21, 2020

Poached Pears and the Sweet Mafia

Posted on April 2, 2014 by in charity, desserts

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poached pears

Poached pears look so very posh when you order them in an upmarket restaurant, yet people are always hesitant to make this “difficult ” dessert!

Poached pears are not at all difficult to make! Honestly, I have also always thought that making poached pears is tricky, but this recipe Thys gave me, worked like a charm today and I like the surprising kick of the pepper. Just because I can, I added ginger and 1 star anise, but that is totally optional! Serve these poached pears with thick cream or ice-cream! This is in fact one of the easiest desserts to make and you can leave the poaching pot for a while, while you do more important things, like caring for someone else or doing something worthwhile for a worthy cause!

poached pears

Thys Hattingh did just that. He is a master with desserts, no wonder his website is called Sweet Mafia. His amazing cooking abilities landed him a spot in the Top 8 of  Season 1 Masterchef 2012. It is this talent to cook and the public exposure he got through his participation in Masterchef  that he put to good use in helping others in need. This is what Thys had to say:

LMCPF (Lexus Milla Cerebral Palsy Fund) was established in 2012. My daughter has CP (Cerebral Palsy) and life was difficult and keeping up with all the medical expenses was a daily struggle. After MasterChef, I got a wonderful job and we have not looked back.

We started the fund, because we as parents know just how difficult it can be to keep up with the therapy and medical bills if you have a child or family member who suffers CP. We are blessed with an income and therefor we wanted to reach out to others who are less fortunate.

The GRCF in Rustenburg, our sister fund, helped us make the dream come true. The GRCF & the LMCPF go hand in hand and made decisions together about how we can help someone.

poached pears

Poached pears

serves 6


6 x firm Pears, peeled but leave the stalks on as they look more beautiful when served
1 x bottle Red Wine, whichever you prefer a nice Cabernet works perfectly
4 – 5 x Pepper corns
3 x Cloves
2 x Cinnamon sticks
150g Brown Sugar add or reduce to your taste
1 x Vanilla Bean split lengthways and seeded

In a thick based pot add the Bottle of Red wine, sugar and all the other spices over a medium heat. Do not bring the stock to the boil only a gentle simmer. Add the peeled pears and cover the pot with a piece of wax paper before the lid goes on. Turn the heat to low and leave to simmer for 20 – 25min, checking on the pears every now and then to make sure that they are all submerged. Test the pears with a sharp knife, if there is some resistance cook for 5min longer till all the pears are nice and soft right through. Once cooked remove the poached pears and cool completely. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce by a third till you are left with a thick glossy syrup. Strain off the spices and serve good lashings of syrup over the poached pears. and  scoops of vanilla ice cream or thick cream

On 11 April, the LMCPF is hosting a gala evening where books and memorabilia  of chefs and other celebrities are being auctioned to raise funds for this worthy cause. I have it on good authority that the food is going to be awesome and that there are still a few tickets up for grabs. So if you are in the Rustenburg area, do support this event!

poached pears

For tickets, please contact

Christien Del Port of the Greater Rustenburg Community Fund

 014 592 1525 or 014 592 1530 


Tomorrow  morning  just after the 9 o’clock news, I will be  chatting to Thys Hattingh and he will be sharing this easy recipe for poached pears with you!  Get ready to be amazed! I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

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One Response to “Poached Pears and the Sweet Mafia”

  1. Elma 12 June 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Nina, ek geniet jou gesels op RSG geweldig. Entoesiasme is d belangrikste bestanddeel vir enige gereg, en daarvan het jy hope
    Doe zo voort!

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