Pear, Pistachio and Ginger Compôte with Grilled Halva Crust

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

This is based on a simple pudding of grilled halva and walnuts that Michael and I ate in the seaside Turkish village of Gumuslik with our friends Tarik and Savas who own the restaurant ‘changa’ in Istanbul. This compôte is great served with whipped cream and a crisp biscuit (like Changa Nut Shortbread).


  • 4 large pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 150 g (5 oz) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup unsalted shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
  • 300 g (10 ½ oz) plain halva


    Place pears, cinnamon, ginger and all but two teaspoons of the sugar into a saucepan. Add water, cover and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer until pears are cooked, but still a little firm. Cool, then mix in nuts and spoon into six ovenproof dishes or one large dish, making the top as level as possible. This can be done a few hours in advance.

    Crumble or grate halva and spread it evenly over the pear mixture, making it level as well. Sprinkle remaining sugar on top, then grill (either under an overhead grill or using a cook’s blowtorch) until sugar and halva begin to darken. (Watch carefully as halva will darken quite quickly. It’s best to grill under a moderate heat.) Stand for a minute before eating as the caramel will be fiercely hot.