Monday, 14 September 2009
I just love pears. Like plums, apricots, nectarines, apples, berries, figs . . . they are one of my absolute favourite fruits.
hmm . . . I am thinking that perhaps I just love fruits? Who knew!
I came across some beautiful little forelle pears in the grocery store on Friday and I knew right away what I wanted to make.
This is my absolutely favouritest of all favouritest desserts. Simple and yet . . .
very scrummy and moreish . . . and yet at the same time, elegant enough to serve at a special dinner party or celebration.
I could eat the whole recipe by myself, but I'm not a greedy person. I do share from time to time.
Perfect desserts are meant to be shared . . . don't you think?? (And I know just the perfect person to share these with!)
*Caramelized Pears with Mascarpone Cream*
This is one of my favourite desserts. I love the subtle flavour of the spices with the sweet creaminess of the pears. I like this much better than any alcohol based recipe. Mascarpone cheese goes with them so perfectly. If this doesn't become one of your favourites, I'll eat my hat!
4 forella pears
(can use larger ones, but they will take a bit longer to cook)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS runny Italian honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 star anise, broken in half
2 bruised cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 TBS brown sugar
the juice of one lemon
1/2 cup double cream
1/2 cup of full fat mascarpone cheese
the grated zest of one lemon
2 TBS caster sugar
Peel the pears and then cut them in half, leaving the stems on if possible. Scoop out the centre seeds with a melon baller.
Place the butter and the honey into a large deep and heavy skillet. Melt together and then add the vanilla bean, scraping out the seeds into the mixture. Add the star anise, cardamom pods, and the cinnamon stick. Grate the nutmeg over top. Bring to a boil and once the mixture starts to foam, add the pears, cut side down. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the pears are golden brown on the underside and tender when tested with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove to a serving bowl. Stir the lemon juice and the brown sugar into the pan drippings. Bring to the boil and cook until the mixture is syrupy. Pour over the pears. You can remove the spices if you wish, but I think they look lovely. Just warn your guests not to eat them.
Whisk the mascarpone cheese and double cream together with the sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the lemon zest.
Serve the pears warm with a drizzle of syrup over top and a dollop of the mascarpone cream.