Prep 24 hrs
Cook 40 mins
Wonderfully spiced pears with creamy chocolate-cheese filling.
- 2 1⁄2 cups riesling wine or 2 1⁄2 cups sauterne
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise
- 1⁄2 lemon, zest of, cut into strips
- 2 slices orange rind, 2 1/2 inches long
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon peppercorn, lightly crushed
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 bartlett pears (firm, but ripe)
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 -6 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark rum
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 4 biscotti
- To make the spiced pears: In a large non-aluminum saucepan combine the wine, sugar, vanilla bean, lemon zest and orange peels. Tie the cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme in a piece of cheesecloth; add to the pan with nutmeg, mace, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Peel pears and cut in half length-wise. Add the pears to the liquid, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently cook about 5 to 15 minutes, or until almost tender. Remove from the heat and let sit covered 5 minutes.
- Remove the pears from the syrup and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill the syrup on ice; when completely cooled, add the pears, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- To make the chocolate mascarpone: Melt chocolate in microwave or in top of double-boiler over boiling water. Cool slightly. Whip the mascarpone with the powdered sugar until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and rum, whisking well. Refrigerate until chilled. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with star tip and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Remove the pears from the syrup and drain. With teaspoon or melon baller, carefully hollow out the pears, removing the core. Place the pears in an oven proof skillet large enough to hold all 8 halves. Brush with melted butter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes or until barely heated through. Remove the skillet and carefully turn pears over in the hot butter. Transfer 2 halves to each warm serving plates and fill each half pear with chocolate mascarpone. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately with biscotti.
Mikekey, this is such an impressive recipe! WOW, wow and wow! :) It is so easy to make and the results are a firework of flavour. Everything goes so well together and makes for a truly delightful treat. If I ever need to entertain fancy people, this will be for dessert for sure! I totally forgot to sprinkle the walnuts on top in the end, but that didnt harm the flavour or presentation at all, though next time Ill add them just to see if that is even better. I dont drink alcohol that often, so I thought the wine was enough for me in this and left out the rum.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this keeper with us!
Made and reviewed for WTTM Tag Game August 2012.
A really nice and different type of special dessert! Not as difficult as it seems like it might be - just have to remember to start the pears early so they can marinate and chill. I didn't use a cheesecloth bag for spices - just strained the syrup before refrigerating. The chocolate mascarpone - mmmmmm, yummy. The pears have a nice, spicy flavor, but not too much. The biscotti were a nice accompaniment. Thanks!