Red Wine Poached Pears with Mascarpone Filling
- 6 firm Bartlett pears
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 vanilla bean, whole
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 (8 ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Peel pears leaving the stem intact.
- In a large saucepan, bring wine and an equal amount of cold water to a simmer.
- Split vanilla bean lengthwise and add to wine and water mixture.
- Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and sugar, to taste. Add pears to liquid and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender.
- Cool pears in wine mixture to room temperature (You can refrigerate them in the poaching liquid until you're ready to fill them).
- When you’re ready to fill, remove stems from pears and set stems aside. Core the pears with an apple corer, leaving pear whole.
- Whisk together mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, pinch of cinnamon and powdered sugar until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag, or if you do not have one, use wax paper tightly wrapped into a cone with the corner snipped off.
- Pipe filling into cored pears and finish by putting the stems gently into the mascarpone filling on top of the pears.
- Bring sauce up to a simmer and reduce by half. Add butter to reduced sauce and stir until combined.
- Spoon the sauce generously over pears.
- Cool to room temperature before serving (Another serving option is to slice the pears lengthwise, spoon sauce over them and top with mascarpone filling).
Recipe Source: Michael Chiarello courtesy of foodnetwork.com