Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Wine Poached Baby Pears with Honey Orange Mascarpone

I warned you that there’d be more pears, and here they are!

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought some beautiful paradise pears (‘baby pears’) the other day, and today, being totally enthused to attend to the growing pile of uni work on my desk, I decided to poach them.


I didn’t want to go to the shops today, so I refused to look at any recipes in case I was missing something. I know myself. If I follow a recipe, I need to have everything that it asks for, unless I set out to change it. And reading recipes would only lead me to yet another run to the shops to get ingredients (I’m feeling reluctant to do this because yesterday I ran to the shops FOUR TIMES to get white chocolate because each time I put yellow food colouring in my melted white chocolate it instantly trned into a strange almost powdery, dry mess. I was convinced it was something to do with me cooking it at too high a heat or doing...something wrong, but it happened every time so eventually I gave up and decided to forgo food colouring and look up the problem on google some other day).

Anyway, after I made them, I had a look at some other recipes and they all seem to call for similar ingredients, so I’m happy that I didn’t stray too far from the norm. :P


Red Wine Poached Baby Pears with Honey Orange Mascarpone

1 kilo baby pears
1.5 cups water
2 cups robust red wine
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup sugar
2 tbs honey
2 sticks cinnamon
4 cloves
4 star anise
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Zest of ½ an orange

In a large stock pot, mix water, wine, lemon juice, sugar, honey, spices and orange.
Stir until sugar is dissolved and add baby pears.
Let simmer for half an hour, basting occasionally if any part of pears is exposed.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Honey Orange Mascarpone
200g mascarpone
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbs honey
(or any of above to taste)

Beat all ingredients together.
Store in fridge.

To serve:
Position pears on plate and ladle some of the red-wine mixture around.
Serve with a quenelle of honey orange mascarpone.


These pears are beautiful, deliciously aromatic with a heady mulled wine flavour. The mascarpone goes magnificently with both the liquid and the pears themselves.

I like this dessert because it’s relatively healthy, sophisticated and simple. The perfect dessert for a nice dinner with friends.




  1. I love poached pears and these look fantastic. I love how the red wine has tinted them on the outside.

  2. Thanks so much! They were absolutely delicious and I'm feeling rather proud of myself now!

  3. Oh my goodness, these look absolutely glorious! Now all I have to do is find some star anise and I'll be all set.

  4. thanks so much! If you can't find any star anise, you can definitely go without - a lot of the recipes I looked at didn't bother with it. But it's a nice touch it you've got it. :)

  5. Oh, pears are over - just gone out of season - here. This dish looks like a great way to showcase them in their glory. I poach pears sometimes, but never in wine and star anise...

  6. You should definitely try them poached in wine! I mst admit, I had never thought of it until I told my mum that I was going to poach some pears and here immediate response was 'In red wine!?!?! Bring some for me!!!' So I had to give it a go! :)