Dec 18
2012

Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe

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Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe by Cookin' Canuck
In this fruit dessert, sweet pears from Harry and David get dressed up with marsala wine, infused with vanilla and orange zest, and topped with a dollop of mascarpone cheese.

There’s something special about a package arriving on the doorstep. When the sound of the doorbell rings through the house, my boys sprint to the front door, closely followed by our dog and two cats. The boys are desperately hoping the package is for them, while the dog and cats are just hoping for pats from a random UPS driver.

The boys watch for a toy to spring out of the package, but are typically disappointed by a “Mum and Dad book”, or something else seemingly mundane. However, one type of package we all get excited about is one adorned with the Harry and David logo. A box of Harry and David Royal Riviera® Pears elicits multiple “ooo”s and “aah”s from everyone.

Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe

During my visit to the Harry and David orchards and candy-making facilities in October, I became smitten with the sweet, smooth-skinned pears produced on acres and acres of flourishing trees. And now I am the happy recipient of the 6-Month Signature Fruit-of-the-Month club. You can’t see it right now, but I am dancing with joy. I promise not to subject you to that on my next video.

This brilliant sweet and savory recipe was created by Chef Jenn Louis, of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, for Harry and David’s Seasonal Chef Program.

Now, I’ve made poached pear recipes before, and have typically enjoyed them. But I can honestly say that this one takes the top prize. Orange zest, a vanilla bean and cloves add a depth of flavor to the marsala poaching liquid that is unparalleled. Another bonus? The pears can be made in advance, then plated immediately before serving, drizzled with the poaching liquid and balanced with creamy, mellow mascarpone cheese.

It’s just the thing for the holidays.

The recipe:

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, marsala, water and orange zest. Cut vanilla bean in
half, lengthwise, and scrape inside of pod into saucepan. Add vanilla pod and cloves. Bring to a
gentle simmer.

Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe

Add Harry and David Royal Riviera® Pears to simmering liquid and cover with parchment.
Poach gently until pears are tender. This time will vary depending on ripeness of pears.

Cool pears in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator until ready to
use.

Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe

To serve, place 4 pieces (quarters) of pear on each of four plates with poaching liquid drizzled over fruit. Dollop 2 ounces of mascarpone next to each pear and serve with a glass of vin santo.

Other recipes using Harry and David apples and pears:

Reluctant Entertainer’s Pear, Smoke Blue Cheese Watercress Salad with Hazelnuts
A Spicy Perspective’s Apple & Bacon Pie
A Thought for Food’s Hot Apple Toddy
Two Peas and Their Pod’s Roasted Apple, Pear & Parsnip Soup

Marsala Poached Pears with Mascarpone
 
Cookin' Canuck www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups. sugar
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 orange, zested in 1” strips, white pith removed
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pears, peeled, stemmed, cored and quartered
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, marsala, water and orange zest. Cut vanilla bean in
  2. half, lengthwise, and scrape inside of pod into saucepan. Add vanilla pod and cloves. Bring to a
  3. gentle simmer.
  4. Add Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pears to simmering liquid and cover with parchment.
  5. Poach gently until pears are tender. This time will vary depending on ripeness of pears.
  6. Cool pears in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator until ready to
  7. use.
  8. To serve, place 4 pieces (quarters) of pear on each of four plates with poaching liquid drizzled over fruit. Dollop 2 ounces of mascarpone next to each pear and serve with a glass of vin santo.
Notes
Recipe by Jenn Louis for Harry & David.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Harry and David. All opinions, including complete adoration of their pears, are my own.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective December 18, 2012 at 7:17 am

Stunning Dara!

I got a big box of Harry and David pears and ate every last one raw. I should have saved a few for this. :)

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2 Living The Sweet Life December 18, 2012 at 8:09 am

Such an elegant dessert :) lovely for a special new years eve

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3 Donna December 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

These are so beautiful and look so refreshing in the midst of a season of decadence. Thanks for posting this.

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4 Heidi @foodiecrush December 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

You don’t have to ask me twice. I’m happy to make these babies. And tell those boys great presents can be calm too!

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5 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious December 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

Ha, my daughter’s the same, and she’s always bummed when it’s not for her ;) Great recipe and a nice add in with the mascarpone!

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6 Barbara | Creative Culinary December 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

I love this combination; it’s perfect. I get a fair amount of booze delivered; my kids get equally excited. :)

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7 Shelley December 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

I’ve sent 5 lovely boxes of these pears to family scattered across the country, but –alas– not to myself! This recipe sounds divine and I’m thinking I’ll just be buying the best pears that I can find around here!

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8 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings December 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

yum! they look like an amazing holiday side!

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9 carolinaheartstrings December 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

How delicious those pairs look. Your pictures are always fantastic. Come and visit us. We are having a wonderful giveaway from a talented Southern author this week.

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10 Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I love pears with mascarpone, this is simply stunning!

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11 Rachel Cooks December 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

What a classy, beautiful dish!

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12 carrian December 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I think we seriously need to get the word out about mascarpone. It’s divine. I sure love you friend. Side note, but I thought you should know that I truly appreciate you.

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13 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen December 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Totally gorgeous and so fancy! I love it!

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