Pear and Dried Fruit

This combination of flavours makes a wonderful breakfast treat or dessert.

It combines fruits of the season with those that have beendried, during the summer, for use in the darker months when the variety of fresh seasonal produce is limited.

This recipe is a guide only. Make your own selection of both variety and quantity of ingredients.

I have poached the fruit in orange juice to which no sugar has been added. This makes the recipe suitable for Diabetic diets when the quantity served is controlled. Alternatively, you may choose to cook the pears in red wine, in which case add a small quantity of sugar for a light syrup. The spice combination, which complements the varied flavours of the fruits in both juice and wine, was inspired by the Australian chef, Jill Dupleix.

The earthy colours of this dish result from my selection of dried fruits without added sulphite. Information on sulphites in food is on the page,“Diet Information”.

Top with green pumpkin seeds or pistachio nuts (not Nut Free) for a more vibrant dish.

Diets for which Pear with Dried Fruit is suitable:

Diabetic, Diary Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 5 mins + 24 hrs (marinade preferably) | Cook: 30 mins | Serves: 4

3 oranges, juiced or 1 cup orange juice*
1 cup water
2 sticks cinnamon
8 cloves
8 black peppercorns
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
4 pears
125 gm (8) dried figs**
100 gm (8) dried pears
125 gm (12) dried apricots
50 gm (2 tbsp) dried cherries


COMBINE the orange juice, water, spices and lemon zest (retaining the lemon juice).
COVER and simmer gently for 10 minutes.***
ADD the dried fruit.
COVER and poach for a further 10 minutes.
REMOVE the fruit, drain and put aside.
PEEL the pears and rub with the lemon juice.
POACH the pears, covered, for 5 minutes.
TURN the pears, as they will not have been completely covered in liquid, and poach for a further 5 minutes.
TURN off the heat.
ADD the dried fruit to the pears and poaching liquid, cover and cool.
MARINADE at room temperature or refrigerate for 12-24 hours for the flavours to amalgamate.


– Alone.
– Topped withyoghurt (diary, soya or coconut)****, coconut cream ortofu cream (not Paleo or Raw diets).
– Top with nuts (not Nut Free diet)


* Replace orange juice with red wine and add a little sugar.
** Make your own selection of dried fruits.
*** Raw diet, keep temperature of poaching liquid low (40 C/90 F) and increase the time. Marinate the fruit for the flavours to develop.
**** Select yoghurt appropriate for the relevant diets.

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