Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream

Recipe From What's For Lunch, Honey?

Ingredients

For poached pears

4-6 small pears, peeled whole and stems left intact.

200g sugar

1 bottle prosecco

450 ml water

1 stick cinnamon

4-6 cloves

2 star anise

zest of one lemon

zest of 1 orange

For blood orange mascarpone cream

200g mascarpone cheese

1 vanilla bean, innards scraped out (save pod to make vanilla sugar)

100g sugar

zest and juice of 1 blood orange

Method

For poached pears

  1. Once the pears are peeled, squeeze a little lemon juice over them to stop them from browning.
  2. In a large saucepan place sugar, prosecco, water, whole spices, lemon and orange zest and heat over medium heat. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved then increase heat and bring to the boil.
  3. Once the poaching liquid has come to the boil, reduce the heat again and add the pears. Cover the pears with a lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the pears are tender.
  4. Steep the pears preferably overnight in the poaching liquid.

For blood orange mascarpone cream

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk masacarpone cheese, vanilla and sugar until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the zest and drizzle enough juice from the blood orange so that is flavors the mascarpone nicely but making sure it does not become to runny.
  3. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with poached pears (recipe above) or see serving variations below.

Serving Variations:

  • Instead of the mascarpone cream, serve the pears with a scoop of bourbon vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce a nice take on Poires Belle Hélène.
  • Add a handful of chopped roasted pistachios for an added crunch.
  • Keep the syrup in a sealed bottle to be used in a variety of different ways. Here's one of my favorites: pour a glug of the syrup in a cocktail glass, add a raspberry or two and top with fresh, bubbly and chilled prosecco. The perfect aperitif to your party!

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