Sweet and juicy, pears are wonderfully versatile - they're delicious eaten raw, poached or roasted, and can be used in an array of sweet and savoury dishes. Due to the pear tree's long lifespan, the fruit was considered a symbol of immortality in ancient China. Choose firm fruits with unblemished skins; don't be put off by any brown speckling, as this is normal. Leave to ripen at room temperature. For a warming pud, mix roasted pear chunks, chopped dark chocolate and a little cinnamon in a baking dish, then top with a crumble topping and bake until crisp and golden.
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