I never make it to dessert during the holidays; I’m pretty full after the appetizers. But this poached cranberry pear with creamy mascarpone cheese will have me 1st in line for the desserts! With so many courses during the holidays, time and easiness are what you need on your side for hosting. You combine water, pears, cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, and fresh herbs in a saucepan, let them work their magic, and you have yourself one festive and pretty dessert to chow down on.
Photos by Dayna Studios
Which pears can I use? — I like to use Bosc or apple pears, but you can certainly use others, but you will need to just watch out for the cooking time difference. Anjou pears for example, cook much faster than the Bosc pears. Just keep an eye on them, and it will come out amazing!
Can I adjust some of the flavors or ingredients? — Absolutely! If you don’t like rosemary feel free to use another fresh herb like thyme. You can use a mix of fresh herbs too! If you like things sweeter, add more honey. Adjust to your liking, it is your dish after all. You can use agave syrup instead of honey as well. I also have tried date syrup, but it was a little too sweet for me.
Can I make ahead of time?— If you like to serve it cold or even room temperature, you can make ahead of time. I like it on the warmer side, so I will prep and place everything in the pot and have it ready to go an hour before serving.
CRANEBERRY POACHED PEAR WITH MASCRAPONE CHEESE
SERVES: 6 servings | PREP: 10 MINUTES | COOK: 20 MINUTES
W H A T Y A N E E D
6 Bosc or apple pears
2-3 cups fresh cranberries
1 orange, you will need the zest and juice
1 sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme (plus more for garnish)
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 allspice berries
1/3 cup honey (you can use agave syrup too)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup hazelnuts, crushed for garnish
6 cups water
B U S T O U T
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Let’s get all the kids in the pool. Throw in the pears, cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and fresh herbs into a dutch oven. You will want to use a dutch oven or a pot that you can fit everything with out being overcrowded. Pour the 6 cups of water in. Pour the honey over all the ingredients so everyone gets some sweetness.
Put the lid on, and bring to boil with the heat on medium high. Once its boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for about 10-20 minutes. Once a knife can be inserted easily and out, its done! Be sure to check during that time, you don’t want a soggy or hard pear.
Let’s serve these babies up! Grab a bowl, I like to use a shallow bowl. Spread a couple tablespoons of mascarpone cheese on the bottom of the bowl. Take a slotted spoon and grab a pear out of the pan. Place in the middle of the bowl. Then drizzle the pear with the juices and cooked cranberries. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and fresh herbs.