Doesn’t this just scream Christmas dessert to you?
Look at the color! So festive!
You can make it ahead of time! Relaxing!
It has red wine! Amazing!
And as if you needed more convincing… it is filled with a sweetened, luscious mascarpone cream (which you could spike with a little rum if you wanted to… wink wink).
Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears filled with Mascarpone Cream
Makes about 6 pears (I only show 4 in my recipe because that’s all I needed, but the poaching liquid and cream would work for 6 medium pears)
- 6 medium Bosc pears (D’Anjou work as well) ripe but not soft
- 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine (I used Merlot)
- 1 cup water
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1/2 cup honey (plus 2 Tbsp for sauce later in recipe)
- 2 star anise
- 8 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temp
- 1-1/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- In a medium-large pot add wine, water, orange juice, honey and spices. Bring to a simmer for about 15 mins.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water and set aside (should be able to fit all 6 pears, again I only did 4)
- Peel pears and cut off 1/4-1/2 inch of the bottom so that they sit flat. Put them in the water so they don’t oxidize.
4. Using a small melon-baller or a 1/2 tsp hollow out the inside of the pears, removing seeds but not letting the sides get too thin.
6. Place pears in simmering wine (should just be small bubbles around the outside of the pot) and let them poach for about 15-20 minutes until they get soft, (but not too soft) and bright red. Turn them occasionally if your wine doesn’t cover them completely.
7. While pears simmer, make your cream. Place cream in mixer with a whip attachment and whip on medium until frothy. Add sugar and continue to whip over medium high until cream starts to get thick. Add vanilla and continue to whip until cream is thick and tracks in the cream show. Don’t over-whip, make sure to keep your eye on it. It should look smooth, not curdled.
8. In a large bowl whisk marcapone briefly and then add whipped cream. Whisk gently together so as not to overwhip the whipped cream. The mascapone mixture should start to thicken up considerably. Put in a piping bag or ziploc bag (cut the tip off when you’re ready to use) and set in the fridge.
9. Remove pears from liquid and set in fridge stem side up to cool.
10. Meanwhile, strain wine liquid into a heavy-bottomed shallow pan and reduce over medium-high heat by about half. Add 2 Tbsp honey and whisk in. Wine will bubble and froth and get thick. Whisk frequently. Depending on the size of you pan this could take about 15-20 mins.
11. When wine gets thick add the butter, remove from heat and whisk until butter is melted and sauce is delish! Bring to room temp.
In the picture below, I only reduced 1 cup of wine so don’t be deceived. It reduced to just 1/2 cup even with the addition of the butter.
12. When pears are cool, and you’re ready to eat (don’t do this step ahead of time, wait for the last minute) remove from fridge and pipe in mascarpone cream, putting the tip all the way in the pear and pulling out to fill the whole cavity with cream. Set cream side down on the plate you’ll be serving it on. Don’t overfill the pears like I did in the picture.
13. Repeat with all pears, and finally pour sauce over pears to cover and make a small pool surrounding the pear as well. Enjoy right away!