Can you imagine Mary and Joseph’s delight had King of Nordic cuisine, René Redzepi, visited them bearing this dish as a gift, all those years ago? If it were us, we would have arranged a rave review in a certain world-renowned text to applaud its culinary excellence, but that’s another story entirely…

One for dessert, this Pear Tree dish features Clara Friis pears which are natives of René’s homeland, Denmark, and demonstrates his passion for using locally sourced ingredients in his new-wave, modern Nordic cuisine.

If you’re planning on presenting this to your guests on Christmas day, why not play around with the ingredients a little and pay homage to René’s eco-warrior status by selecting fruits that are local and in season, wherever in the world you may be. Just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly and mention its Michelin-star status for added ‘wow-factor’ when plating up…

 

Pear Tree

 

Ingredients

Pear sauce


500g Clara Friis pears, peeled and cored

10g pear aquavit


1g citric acid, plus extra


Thyme oil

 


Grilled pears


2 Clara Friis pears


Grapeseed oil


25g thyme oil


 


Juniper berry salt


10g dried juniper berries


30g salt


 

Aerated spruce parfait

4 gelatine leaves


270g egg yolks


180g water


40g spruce shoots


75g spruce needles


67g sugar


20g fondant


255g cream


20g spruce oil

 


To serve


1 Clara Friis pear


Verbena leaves


Lemon thyme sprigs


Bronze fennel tops


Heather flowers


Unripe juniper berry skins

 

Method

Pear sauce


Vacuum-pack the pears, aquavit and citric acid and cook in a water bath at 80C (175F) for 30 minutes. Cool, then blend to a smooth purée. Pass the purée, adjust the acidity with a pinch of citric acid and keep in the refrigerator.

 

Grilled pears


Peel the pears and cut off each side as close to the core as possible. Brush the cut side of each pear with grapeseed oil and chargrill (charbroil) until blackened. Drizzle thyme oil over the grilled sides and place 
in an airtight container to marinate. Peel away the charred surface of the pears and keep warm.

 

Juniper berry salt


Crush the dried juniper berries in a spice grinder. Sift, then return to the spice grinder, along with the salt. Gently pulse to mix and keep in an airtight container.

 

Aerated spruce parfait


Bloom the gelatine. Blend the egg yolks, water, spruce shoots and spruce needles in a Thermomix at 80C (175F) until warmed through. Strain, then combine 220g of this mixture with the sugar, fondant and bloomed gelatine and whisk at high speed in a stand mixer until it becomes stiff and frothy. Whip the cream, then fold in the frothy egg mixture. Combine 120g of this mixture with the spruce oil, then pour into a Food Saver container. Place in a vacuum machine and aerate. Freeze for 4 hours before opening the Food Saver container, then cut into portions.

 

To serve

Put the plates in the refrigerator to get cold. Split the pear sauce with thyme oil and swirl onto the cold plates. Thinly slice the Clara Friis pear and place
 1 slice on top of each warm grilled pear. Decorate with the herbs, flowers and juniper berry skins and carefully lift onto the plate. Add the aerated spruce parfait and season with the juniper berry salt.