If you’re like us here at CookingChew, the key to the perfect meal is the dessert.
You can have a great appetizer, followed by a delicious main course, but the cherry on top (no pun intended) is an unforgettable dessert.
It just ties everything together and makes everyone satisfied and really to just sink into a food coma.
Sure, we love ultra-decadent desserts like chocolate cakes just as much as you, but there’s something to be said about making a dessert that’s light, but just as filling and satisfying.
Fruit-based desserts are on the top of our list when we want something lighter and healthier.
However, it’s still a dessert, so why not make it just a scooch more decadent by adding a bit of dessert wine and sweet cheese?
We give you: poached pears!
Not all pears are created equal!
Some pears are great for eating raw, while others fare better during poaching or baking.
Remember, poaching something requires the ingredient to be submerged in a hot liquid for a long time, so you want something that keeps its shape and texture even after being poached.
The best pears for poaching are Bosc pears, but you can also use French butter pears, Anjou pears, and Concorde pears.
Do you eat poached pears hot or cold?
When it comes to serving poached pears hot or cold, it’s totally up to you!
You can serve the pears hot directly from the oven, or you can chill them in the fridge and top them with ice cream for a refreshing and cool treat.
How to pick out pears?
For a poached pear recipe, you want to use pears that are perfectly ripe.
Underripe pears won’t cook as well, and overripe pears will fall apart during the poaching process.
It’s actually quite easy to see whether a pear is ripe.
Simply press your finger into the spot where the stem meets the pear: if the spot is soft and tender but the rest of the pear is firm, you’ve got a ripe pear.
What’s more, ripe pears have a mildly sweet and floral aroma.
Can I freeze poached pears?
Yes, you can freeze poached pears.
After cooking the pears, cool them to room temperature.
Once cooled, place them in airtight glass jars or plastic containers.
Make sure to seal the pears tightly. You can freeze poached pears for up to 3 months.
If you’re freezing poached pears, do not add any other ingredients beyond water and syrup.
Adding other ingredients will shorten the shelf life and affect the final consistency of the dish.
How to serve poached pears?
You can serve poached pears in several ways.
You can serve them warm and straight from the oven, topped with mascarpone and drizzled with honey.
You can serve them cold with a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top! (We love vanilla because it sets off the flavors of the pear and the spices quite nicely).
How long does it take to poach pears?
It will take around 20-25 minutes to poach a pear until it becomes tender enough to eat with a fork!
How to cut a pear?
Pears are stone fruits, which means that you need to remove the core before using the pear.
To cut a pear properly, you need to use a sharp knife, a wooden cutting board, and a melon baller.
After washing and drying the pear, place the pear on top of your cutting board.
Using your knife, cut the pear lengthwise.
Remove the core of the pear using the melon baller and discard the core.
Poached Pears with Honey Mascarpone Cream
When it comes to poaching pears, the key is picking the right variety of pear!
In this recipe, we used red Anjou pears, but other varieties such as French Butter and Concorde works just as well.
Make sure to use pears that are ripe or slightly underripe; overripe pears will turn into mush.
You want pears that will be firm but tender, and will soak up all the wonderful flavors of the poaching liquid.
Can I Use Other Types of White Wine?
Yes, you can use other white wine varieties as long as they are sweet dessert wines.
If we don’t have a Riesling available, we love using Madeira, Ice Wine, or Vin Santo.
Runny Honey?Runny Honey?
You can make runny honey by mixing a teaspoon of water per 3 tablespoons of honey in the recipe.
Pure and real honey is pretty thick!
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s a “reflection” of the ever-popular fruit, cheese, and wine platter.
If you want to make a meal that has a “yin & yang” effect between the appetizer and dessert, serve this delicious dessert with a meal that features a fruit and cheese platter appetizer!
Poached Pears Ingredients:
- 3 c. Riesling or other sweet white wine
- 1/3 c. honey3 whole cinnamon sticks
honey3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 t. whole cloves
- 3 whole star anise
whole star anise
- 6 firm pears, peeled
- 1 dash ground cinnamon, for garnish
Honey Mascarpone Cream Ingredients:
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3 T. half & half
half & half
- 3 T. runny honey
- 2 t. pure vanilla extract
pure vanilla extract
- 2 t. orange zest
- In a large skillet with high sides or sauce pan, combine the sweet white wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise.
- Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil, then bring down to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure that the mixture does not burn. Cook until the honey is melted and the spices have become fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
- While the poaching liquid is cooking down, cut the pears in half and remove the core using a melon baller. If you don’t have a melon baller, you can use a small spoon.
- Carefully add the prepared pears to the simmering poaching liquid. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, turning the pears halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- While the pears are poaching, place the softened mascarpone cheese and half & half in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until light and airy. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a hand-held mixer to blend).
- When the mascarpone and half& half mixture has become light and whipped, add the honey, vanilla extract, and orange zest and mix until well-combined.
- Place in the fridge to chill before serving.
- Remove pears from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve immediately with a spoonful of the honey mascarpone cream and a dash of cinnamon. Top with a drizzle of the poaching liquid, if desired. Enjoy!