While it may seem silly to be planning your Valentine’s Day menu so much in advance of the day, there are some definite benefits. First, there’s no need for last minute panic and shopping. Second, you have the opportunity to try the recipe before the actual day, so that you are able to perfect it. Third, if you make a sample round of the dessert, you get to eat an extra dessert!
This week’s dessert idea is a wonderful combination of wine, pears, almonds, and mascarpone. Not only is it a delicious dessert, but it also has a beautiful presentation. Although it looks intricate, it really is quite easy to prepare. Your valentine is sure to be amazed by your culinary talents.
Red Wine Poached Pear with Candied Almonds and Mascarpone
Chef John Van House of Murray’s, courtesy of usapears.org.
6 Bosc USA Pears
1 750 ml bottle red table wine
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tb. Chinese Five Spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup candied sliced almonds, such as Almond Accents® Honey Roasted Sliced Almonds
Peel pear and core from the bottom to extract core and seeds.
In a saucepan, combine wine, granulated sugar, five spice, cinnamon and cloves. Add pears and just enough wine to cover pears. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until pears are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove pears and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill.
Simmer wine mixture until reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Whip mascarpone, cream, powdered sugar and almond extract on high speed until mixture forms firm peaks.
To serve: Spoon 2 tablespoons mascarpone filling into center of each pear. Place on dessert plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons mascarpone around bottom of pears. Drizzle 2 tablespoons slightly warm wine syrup over each pear. Garnish with candied almonds and serve immediately.