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I’ve never had a donut that tastes more like autumn than these ginger donuts with poached pears! They are light and airy with a hint of spice and the juicy pear takes them to the next level. Eating these donuts really feels like you’re eating a cake with complex flavours. Therefore, they are perfect to make for a fall-themed dinner party because everyone will be impressed, but they don’t require too much time or effort on your part to prepare.
The first thing you need to do is to poach the pears. For this step you need:
- lemon juice
I used small pears and only poached them for 15 minutes. I found this was enough due to them being quite thin. However, you can poach them for up to 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on them not to get too mushy.
After removing the poached pears, I also strained and saved the poaching juice to use as a glaze when serving the donuts. If you want this juice to be thicker, with a consistency like honey, refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
I do not recommend poaching the pears a day in advance because they could dry out. But if you’re in a time crunch, you can prepare all ingredients (minus the pears) and add them to a pot a day in advance. The next day just peel the pears and put the pot on the stove.
When it comes to the donut recipe, I chose to keep it quite simple. I incorporated crystallized ginger for texture and spice. I also used cream to keep the donuts as moist as possible. Since they are quite small in size, they can dry out quickly. Therefore, I recommend baking them the day of your party. And again if you’re in a time crunch, you can make the batter a day in advance. Put it in a piping bag and refrigerate it overnight.
When serving the donuts, place one quarter of a poached pear in the hole. Pour or drizzle some of the poaching juice you prepared earlier.
This is how you can make these delicious ginger donuts with poached pears:
Ginger Donuts with Poached Pears
For poaching the pears:
- 2 cups (400 g/ 14 oz.) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (500 ml/ 17 ½ oz.) water
- 5 small pears, peeled
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 1 piece ginger root (approx. 1 inch), peeled and sliced
- juice from one medium lemon
For the batter:
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup (150 g/ 5 ¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
- ½ stick (60 g/ 2 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 ml/ 2 oz.) cream (35% fat content)
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz.) crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature for greasing the pan
For poaching the pears:
- In a medium saucepan add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger slices, and 2 cups water. Trim the ends of the lemongrass stalk and cut it in half lengthwise. Discharge the tough outer layers. Dice the two halves of lemongrass and add them to the saucepan.
- Over medium-low heat bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, add the whole peeled pears. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside, remove the pears to a plate, and allow them to cool. Strain the poaching juice and set aside to cool.
For the batter:
- Pre-heat oven to 180 °C (350°F).
- In a bowl sift the flour, then add the baking powder. Mix them with a whisk and set aside.
- Gently melt the butter over low temperature. Make sure the butter does not bubble. Once melted, set it aside and allow it to cool a little.
- Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer. The mixture is ready when almost triple in volume and light in color. Add the vanilla extract, salt, cream and mix.
- Using a spatula, add the flour mix to the egg mix in 2-3 steps, mixing gently after each addition. Make sure the flour is well incorporated, but do not over mix. Once the flour has been incorporated, fold in the melted cooled butter. Add the finely chopped crystallized ginger and gently fold it into the batter. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.
- Grease the donut pan with room temperature butter. Pipe the batter filling ¾ of each cavity. Bake for 10 minutes, or until donuts spring back when gently pressed.
- Once baked, take the pan out of the oven and allow the donuts to cool in the donut pan 2-3 minutes at room temperature. Transfer them to a rack and let them sit until completely cooled.
- Serve the donuts with poached pears and some of the poaching juice for extra flavor.