Poached pears with coffee zabaione

Serves 4

For the pears:

2 firm, not-too-ripe pears

1.5 litres of water
150 grams of sugar
zest and juice of half a lemon

For the zabaione:

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons sugar

1 hot espresso

To poach the pears, peel and slice the pears in half lengthways. You can core the pears if you like by removing the seeds with a melon-baller. Place water and sugar in a wide sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add lemon peel and juice. When the sugar has dissolved, add the pears and simmer until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes, depending on the pears. When the tip of a knife goes in very easily, they are done. Set aside to cool.

Prepare a bain marie with a few centimeters of simmering water over low heat. Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a small heat-proof bowl until the mixture becomes pale and creamy. Whisking with the bowl over a bain marie (double broiler), until the mixture is thick, creamy and fluffy. Add the hot coffee and continue whisking until combined. Take it off the heat just when you think it is almost ready–like many egg dishes, this is a delicate dish and will continue to cook a little even after you take it off the heat. Serve the warm zabaione drizzled over the pears and garnish with a coffee bean or a sprinkle of ground coffee.

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