Toasted bread and honey nut ice cream with poached pears

This beautiful recipe produces an impressive dessert that should be complicated, but really is very simple. Toasted honey nut crumble is stirred through ice cream and served with wine poached pears

By Jo Wilcox
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
  • 4 hrs marinating
  • Serves 6
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  • 2 slice light-grain toast bread
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts (eg pistachios, almonds, pecans, macadamias)
  • 2 tablespoon liquid honey
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 litre vanilla ice cream, semi-thawed
To serve
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 pitted dates, diced
  • 2 cubes crystallised ginger, sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 crisp, thin biscuits (this recipe used tortas de aceite)
Poached pears
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 750 millilitre water
  • 250 millilitre white wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 6 firm pears (this recipe used Packham)


  • 1
    Place the bread and nuts in a food processor and pulse until fine breadcrumbs form.
  • 2
    Transfer to a large frying pan and drizzle over the honey and sprinkle with mixed spice. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring until nut mixture is toasted and starting to caramelise. Remove from the pan to a plate and cool.
  • 3
    Mix the nut mixture and orange zest through the semi-thawed ice cream then return to the freezer for at least 4 hours or until frozen and scoopable.
  • 4
    To serve, decorate plates with chopped nuts, dates and crystallised ginger then add a warm poached pear (see recipe, below) and a scoop of nutty ice cream. Drizzle with reduced pear syrup, garnish with thyme sprigs and serve with a biscuit.
Poached pears
  • 5
    Combine the sugar, water, wine, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, peel pears (leave stalks on) and remove core from each base with a narrow teaspoon or apple corer. Trim bases slightly so pears will stand upright.
  • 7
    Add pears to the spiced syrup and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until tender but not soft. Remove pears and cover to keep warm. Boil syrup until reduced by at least half and syrupy.