These sweet, lightly smoked pears with ginger-biscuit filling are completed with a dollop of pillowy, soft whipped cream.
- 3 cups (720 ml) apple or cherry wood smoking chips, divided (soak 2 cups in water for 1 hour)
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 12 gingersnap cookies, crushed
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
- 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon zest
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cloves
- 3 tsp (15 ml) orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau)
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 6 firm-fleshed pears (Spencer uses Bartlett)
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 cup white sugar
- Orange zest, to serve
- 1 cup (240 ml) cold 35% cream
- Splash of orange liqueur
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped
- 3 tsp icing sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Prepare barbeque for indirect heat by preheating only one side of the grill to 205°C (400°F).
2. Place a large stainless steel bowl in the freezer and allow to chill for 15-20 minutes to prepare for the whipped cream.
3. To build a smoke pouch, drain the 2 cups (480 ml) of wet wood chips and squeeze excess water out. Spread wet wood chips on a large piece of aluminum foil. Place 1 cup (240 ml) of dry wood chips on top. Mix them together. Close the foil around the chips to make a sealed foil package. Use a fork to puncture holes in the top and bottom of the foil pack to allow the smoke to flow through and infuse the pears.
4. Place smoke pouch directly onto heat source on the barbeque.
5. To make the stuffing, combine butter with crushed gingersnap cookies in a bowl. Add brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange liqueur and vanilla seeds and mix.
6. Peel pears. Slice a bit of the bottom of the pears so that they stand up on a plate. Remove tops and core pears using a melon baller. Rub the pears with lemon wedges to stop discoloring. Roll in white sugar.
7. Blow torch all sides of the pears until sugar caramelises and turns a golden colour. (If you don’t have a blow torch, place sugared pears on hot side of grill for 1-2 minutes, turning periodically to achieve grill marks. Remove pears from grill.)
8. Spoon stuffing into the centre of the pears.
9. Once barbeque is smoking, lower the heated side of the grill to 105°C (220°F).
10. Place pears on a perforated baking sheet on the unheated side of the grill. Smoke the pears over indirect heat for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
11. Pour cold, heavy cream in the chilled bowl along with the orange liqueur and vanilla seeds. Gradually add icing sugar while whipping. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
12. Serve pears topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with orange zest.
• Cooking times and temperatures will vary depending on the size and type of your barbeque.