The thing about winter (if you can even call it that here) is that there is not a large variety of fruits to work with for desserts. In the summer, you’ve got berries for days, but now, you’ve got apples and pears, and more apples, and more pears. Cool.
That said, I can’t hate too much because apples and pears are ripe (hah!) for some Valentine’s Day cookin’. Fun fact: These fruits are actually a part of the rose family, which means that they are scientifically very romantic. Naturally, you must make this recipe for your lovers and friends as soon as possible.
If you’ve ever made poached pears before, you may notice that there is hardly any liquid in this recipe. That is okay – it makes for some delicious spicy wine syrup once everything reduces down.
And let’s not forget about the mascarpone either. This creamy cheese (which I also used in this recipe) makes for the perfect accompaniment to the pears and wine. Quenelle it alongside the pears or just scoop a fat dollop on top cus we all know cheese is the best. And so are poached pears.
Poached Pears with Mascarpone
- Scrape the seeds off of the half vanilla bean and in a heavy-bottomed pan, mix into the wine along with the lemon zest, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil.
- In the meanwhile, peel the pears and cut off a small portion off the bottom so that pears will stand upright on their own.
- Once the wine is boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer and add the pears. Cover the pan or pot and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pears at 5-minute intervals so that each side is evenly cooked and covered in wine.
- Remove the pears from the liquid. Cool at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Continue to simmer the liquid for another 10 minutes or so until it is reduced by half. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Before serving, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with the mascarpone. Place the pears in a serving dish and dollop a tablespoon or two of the mascarpone next to it. Pour the reduced wine liquid over everything and serve.
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
This is such a sophisticated and delightful dessert. I love it served with mascarpone. Perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.
For a dessert, pears are surprisingly easy to work with – they really are great!
Delicious recipe, those poached pears look amazing. I love mascarpone with just about anything, so rich and creamy!
Mascarpone is seriously amazing, and an underrated cheese. I keep thinking of how else to use it, cus it’s so good!
Carolyn Jung says
Beautiful looking! Plus, it’s fruit so it’s totally good for you. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉
Oh, there is nothing bad about pears and wine, especially at this time of year. Resolutions, we we go!
Great looking dessert!
Thank you! I definitely ate this whole thing myself. No shame.
Allie | Baking a Moment says
Gorgeous, gorgeous photos and scrumptious recipe! I love the red wine, and that creamy mascarpone!
Thank you so much!! I feel that you can’t go wrong with alcohol in dessert. I wonder how this would taste with white wine, but for now, red wine it is!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
You made a pear look so very sexy.
Girl, pears are sexy, and so are desserts, and so are we when we eat desserts. That’s just the truth.
These pears look perfect! Spiced goey pears plus creamy mascarpone Mmmmm
So many spices! But definitely worth it!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked says
I’ve never poached a pear before but whoa, looking at your gorgeous photos is making me want to run home ‘n git some wine simmering! This looks incredible. And I love that your serving it with mascarpone. Yum!
Haha it sounds like some illicit activity when you say you’ve never poached a pear. It’s actually super super easy. I’ve seen your blog, so I know you’ve done way more difficult things than this!
Nora (Buttercream Fanatic) says
I am absolutely in love with this dessert, but have never paired it with these spices. I’ve definitely been missing out – big time! I pinned this recipe to make for Valentine’s Day!
I have a weird thing for cardamom, probably because I’m Indian, but it works well in this recipe!
You love brioche. I love poached pears-it was a Christmas tradition when my spouse and I were in France. I loved stuffing them with gorgonzola, cream cheese, and honey.
Did you used to live in France? I’m visiting Paris for a week in October and would love your recommendations! Plus a place where I can get some brioche!
Your website has to be the elcretonic Swiss army knife for this topic.