Mulled wine poached Pears, vanilla mascarpone

By Hayden Groves

Serves 6

prep time: 5 mins
cooking time: 35 mins (plus cooling)

  • 350gm red wine, a Shiraz would be perfect
  • 350gm water
  • 150gm Caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (reserve the seeds for the mascarpone)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • peel and juice from an orange
  • 6 Comice pears, peeled carefully with the stalk still intact

 

Vanilla Mascarpone

  • 2tsp icing sugar
  • 180gm Mascarpone

Method

 

Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the black seeds and reserve for the mascarpone. Select a sauce pan just large enough to fit the pears in snuggly. In this pan add all the poaching ingredients place in the pears, making sure they are covered in the wine liquor, place on a circle of parchment. Poach the pears gently – (never allow the pot to boil) for 20-30 mins.

The cooking time will depend on the ripeness of your pears – they should be tender all the way when pierced through to the middle with a small vegetable knife. Take the pears from the pan and reserve in a dish, then boil rapidly the liquid reduce it by half until its thickened and syrupy. pour this liquid over the pears, and cool. You can do this stage upto 48 hrs in advance and keep in the fridge. For service remove the poached pears from the fridge so that they are cold, yet not heavily chilled so the full flavors can be enjoyed.

Beat a tablespoon of mascarpone with the icing sugar and the vanilla seeds, then stir well into the remaining Mascarpone. Serve each pear with a generous spoonful of the delightful syrup and a good dollop of vanilla scented mascarpone,

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