Presenting poached pears in a dessert plate is always a feast to the eyes. The fruit retains its true shape especially when served whole. But the best thing about it is when you take the first bite because when poached with such a rich collection of spices, the flavors explode in the mouth. With this version, saffron plays a big role of adding that diverse taste and aroma to the pears. Alongside the spiced pears, a big dollop of mascarpone mixed with Marsala wine makes it even more delectable. Definitely a must for a special occasion during the holidays. Everyone will rave about it!
Poached Saffron Pears and Mascarpone with Marsala Wine
4 small – medium pears
3 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 untreated lemon, rind only
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 vanilla pod
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 cup mascarpone
4 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Peel the pears the core them from the bottom part. They can be cooked whole or halved. Set aside.
Over medium heat, in a medium pot, combine the water and the granulated sugar together.
After the sugar melts, add the pears, lemon rind, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla pod and saffron then cook for about half an hour or until the pears are tender. Transfer the pears to a bowl and set aside.
Continue cooking the liquid for another hour, until it is reduced by half.
Pour the liquid to the bowl with the pears. Let them cool down. They can be eaten immediately but the longer the pears are steeped in its liquid, the stronger the taste will be. They can be refrigerated for about 4 days in a sealed container.
To make the mascarpone with marsala wine, combine the mascarpone, Marsala wine and powdered sugar and mix well.
Serve the drained pears with the mascarpone with Marsala wine.