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A favourite that almost everyone can relate to from child hood. Try this stunning vanilla and saffron pear crumble with verbena panna cotta, raspberries and gold nibs made by Executive Chef of Fairmont Zimbali Resort and Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, Dean Uren

Especially on a Wintery Sunday afternoon where the aroma of vanilla, sugar and butter always stir the palate and make space for dessert.

The modern and slightly altered preparation of this is more restaurant specific with a deconstructed component to make the dish flexible in presentation. It does however eat as well as any crumble you may have had but brings in surprise elements of fresh mint, verbena, cocoa and chocolate that are not easily placed in the traditional recipes of times gone by.

Ingredients Poached Pear:

  • 2 Forelle Pears
  • Pinch Saffron
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 1 cup castor Sugar
  • 1 lit water



  1. Peel the pears and scoop out the core from below
  2. Bring the water, sugar, saffron and 1 vanilla pod to the boil
  3. Add the pears on their sides and cook on both sides turning after 8 minutes until soft
  4.  Leave in the syrup until required


Ingredients Panna Cotta

  • 200ml Cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • 2 leaves Gelatin
  • 4 T Sugar
  • 6 stems and leaves Lemon verbena



  1. Bring the cream, sugar and verbena leaves to the boil
  2. Stir, turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes
  3. Soak the gelatin and when soft add to the cream, stir lightly until dissolved
  4. Strain, pour into small molds and set in the fridge for 1 hour


Ingredients Crumble

  • 120g Flour
  • 60 g Sugar
  • 60 g Butter
  • 1 Vanilla pod



  1. Mix all the ingredients either by hand or in a mixer with the beater paddle until the crumble mixture
  2. Comes together into large crumbs


Ingredients Gold nibs:

  • 1 T Cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp Edible gold dust


1. Simply toss the nibs through the gold dust and use when required


To finish

  •  First, place the crumble onto the plate
  •  Add the pear, then turn the panna cotta out of the mould by placing in a little warm water until it come out of its mould and add to the plate.
  • Complete with all other garnish items raspberries, cocoa nibs, grated dark chocolate and fresh mint.

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