Red Wine Poached Anjou Pears Stuffed with Mascarpone

Total Time:
2 hr 25 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
55 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 bottles, 750 ml each, Zinfandel
  • 4 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, plus more for garnish
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ripe pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett, peeled
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup toasted, crushed pistachios
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
  • creme anglaise, optional for garnish
Directions
  • Place the wine, peppercorns, vanilla beans, zest, cardamom and sugar in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the saucepan to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Place the pears in the saucepan and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the pears are tender.

  • Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and set aside on a plate. Allow them to cool completely.

  • While the pears are cooling, strain the poaching liquid and discard solids. Return the liquid to the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup, about 5 to 10 minutes. You should have about 1/2 cup syrup. Set aside.

  • When the pears are cool enough to handle, remove the inner core using a melon baller. Stuff each pear with 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone.

  • To serve, pour about 2 tablespoons of the poaching syrup on a chilled appetizer plate with a pear in the center. Sprinkle toasted pistachios around the plate and garnish with mint leaves and orange zest. Drizzle with creme anglaise, if desired.


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