Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5. Place 250g of the sugar, 1½ litres of water, the lime peel, pears and saffron in a large saucepan. Make a cartouche from a piece of greaseproof paper by folding the paper in half diagonally to make a triangle, then in half again to make a smaller triangle. Keeping hold of the centre point, fold it once more to make a dart. Holding the centre point of the dart in the middle of the saucepan, measure out to the edge of the pan. This is where you need to tear the paper so that when you unfold it you have a circle roughly the size of the saucepan. Place this on top of the pears and simmer over a low heat for 10–20 minutes. The cartouche ensures a tighter fit than the lid alone.
Once the pears are cooked, remove them from the liquid to cool. Strain 200ml of the liquid into a small saucepan, add the remaining 50g sugar and reduce over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until the liquid becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest, then leave to cool.
Brush 12 mini madeleine moulds lightly with melted butter. Break the egg into a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is very pale and thick.
Sift the flour into the egg and sugar mixture and add the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, orange zest and the rest of the melted butter, then gently fold in.
Fill the moulds with the madeleine batter and place in the preheated oven for 7–8 minutes. Leave to cool in their moulds.
Place the cream and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk, either by hand or with an electric whisk, until it forms soft peaks.
To serve, warm through the syrup over a low heat. Either dip each pear into the syrup in the pan before serving, or place a poached pear on each serving plate with three mini madeleines next to it, along with a dollop of the cream. Drizzle over the reduced lime syrup and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.