I love desserts that are fruit based. Grilled peaches with lemon soft cheese in the center & drizzled with aged vanilla balsamic in the summer. For fall I generally head for pears or citrus hints in the winter. I was inspired by my cocktail creation last month & all things pear as of late so I carved out the early part of Superbowl Sunday to make poached pears. I have made this dessert many times & finally typed up the recipe a few years back. I’ve even served it to the winemaker that makes the wine I use & promised to get them the information a bazillion times, well maybe not that much. So, why share now? I finally took the time to make it so I could take pictures because we all know that one dines with their eyes first. Not aiming for stellar photos, more like any photos here is one of my favorite cool weather desserts. So this is when I bat my eyes at my husband, looking oh so cute, then request he relinquish a few of his coveted dessert wines to me for cooking purposes.
Vanilla & Cinnamon Poached Pears
Makes 8 servings
- 2 cups white wine (I use Moshin Potion)
- 4 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus extra to prevent pears browning
- 4 pears, peeled and cored (I prefer the natural vanilla hints in the Bosc pears)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 – 8oz container of mascarpone
In a saucepan, combine wine, water, vanilla bean, cinnamon and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add pears to poaching liquid and poach for 8 minutes.
Remove pears from poaching liquid and continue to reduce sauce until a light syrup consistency. Use 3 Tbs (or until your desired sweetness) of poaching liquid to gentle whip into mascarpone until smooth & place in refrigerator until slightly firm.
Continue to reduce poaching liquid down until caramel consistency, stirring often (don’t burn the caramel). I like the look of the drizzled caramel, but another variation would be to plate pears and pour reduced poaching liquid around each one. I understand the low & slow method of creating caramel can take a while at times.
I like to warm the pears briefly before plating then spoon the mascarpone into the center of the pear. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the pear for desired look & taste. You will likely have caramel left over. I have added a little to the rim of a cocktail glass or kept handy to drizzle on other desserts. Maybe even sneak a small spoonful when no one is looking like my husband does. I like to serve this dish with a small glass of the wine used to poach the pears in so make sure you have back up bottles so you & your guests can enjoy.
Word about the wine, I use Moshin Vineyards – Moshin Potion that I have to pry out of my husband’s death grip because it’s his favorite. He watches over me like a hawk as every drip leaves the bottle. You can purchase it HERE under dessert wines.
That being said, if you are unable to get this elixir a sauterne dessert style wine or a late harvest sauvignon blanc/semillon combo is my preference. Feel free to play with whatever late harvest white wine you choose. I also use bosc pears in this recipe because they have a vanilla hint in flavor naturally, but play around with other pears until you find your bliss, a nice red skin pear may be pretty on the plate. I like to say this dessert is an expression of the chosen wine through & through. From poached pear, to flavored mascarpone to the caramel finale. However, you chose to create this sweet end to a meal remember one thing, enjoy!
Cheers to all of that goodness!