A delicious yet simple dessert, this is ready in just 25 minutes. Flaming the brandy burns off the alcohol, leaving a wonderful flavour which perfectly complements the oranges and nashi pears. Even after cooking, nashi pears retain their crunchy texture.
2 nashi pears
juice of ½ lemon
1½ tablespoons margarine
¼ cup (40 g) soft brown sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) brandy
¼ cup (30 g) coarsely chopped pistachios
sprigs of fresh lemon balm or mint to garnish
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Peel, quarter and core the nashi pears. Cut them into slices and sprinkle with the lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
Peel the oranges, removing all the white pith. Cut them across into thin, neat slices.
Melt the margarine in a frying pan. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the nashi pear slices and cook gently for about 3 minutes on each side or until they are just tender but still quite firm. Add the orange slices for the last minute of cooking, turning them to coat well with the juices in the pan.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears and oranges to a shallow serving dish and keep warm. Boil the juices remaining in the pan to reduce a little, then pour over the fruit. Pour the brandy into the frying pan, heat it and set alight. Pour over the fruit.
Serve on warmed plates, sprinkled with the pistachios and garnished with sprigs of herbs.
Some more ideas…
• Use sliced pears instead of nashi pears. They will need only about 2 minutes cooking on each side to make them tender. • Use Poire William liqueur or Cointreau instead of brandy. • Replace the pears with apples, peeled and cut in rings. Flambé with Calvados and sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Oranges are justly famous for their vitamin C content (54 mg per 100 g). This powerful antioxidant is one of the "water-soluble" vitamins which cannot be stored by the body, so it is essential that fruit and vegetables containing vitamin C are eaten every day.