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Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cream - These pears are poached in a spiced white wine syrup and then filled with mascarpone whipped cream and finished with a drizzle of bittersweet chocolate sauce. A wonderful way to end a holiday meal! | justalittlebitofbacon.com
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Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cream

These pears are poached in a spiced white wine syrup, filled with mascarpone whipped cream, and finished with bittersweet chocolate sauce.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon

Ingredients

  • 4 pears firm but ripe
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • peel of 1/2 an orange
  • peel of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp cocoa power dutch process cocoa if you have it
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Peel the pears and then split each one lengthwise down the middle. Carefully scoop out the seeds and cores of the pears.
  • Combine the wine, water, sugar, orange and lemon peels, cinnamon stick, and vanilla in a saucepan just large enough to hold the eight pear halves. Bring the wine syrup to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat so the syrup is just barely simmering. Add the pears and poach them in the syrup for 12-15 minutes, depending on how ripe your pears were. Check them with a knife to see if they are tender all the way through. Once they are, remove the pears from the syrup with a slotted spoon and let them cool.
  • Bring the syrup back to a boil and cook it down until the the syrup thickens and comes to 220F on a thermometer. This will take 10-12 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
  • To make the mascarpone cream: With a mixer, beat together 1/2 cup of the chilled syrup with the mascarpone. Set that aside. Pour the cream into a large bowl and beat with the mixer on high until you have stiff peaks. Add the mascarpone to the the cream and beat it together. Put the mascarpone cream in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  • To made the chocolate sauce: Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about a minute, until the chocolate is softened. Whisk together the chocolate and cream until smooth. Mix in the vanilla.
  • To assemble: Spoon out some chocolate sauce into the middle of each plate. Place a pear half on top of the chocolate. Spoon mascarpone cream in the middle of each pear and then drizzle more chocolate sauce over the top.

Notes

The pears are best made the same day you are going to eat them. Sadly, they will discolor if kept overnight in the refrigerator. However, I have made them in the morning and had no discoloration in the evening.
Stiff peaks are when you stop the beaters and pull them up and the little peaks you get from the cream don't fold over at all. Be careful, though. It's easy to go from stiff peaks to overly whipped cream. Stop and check frequently when you think you are getting close.
Adapted from Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cream and Chocolate Sauce by Food&Wine.