For the poaching liquid:
- 3 c red wine, such as Cabernet or Merlot (I made these with a red blend I already had open)
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1 6-inch long strip fresh orange peel, careful not to include any of the bitter white pith under the peel
- Juice from one large orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 firm, ripe Bosc pears
For the whipped cream:
- 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbl mascarpone cheese
- 2 Tbl Better Batter Corn-Free Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the poaching liquid. Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a medium saucepan large enough to hold 4 pears laying on their sides. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Peel the pears. While poaching liquid is simmering, peel the pears, leaving the stem intact and being careful not to bruise the pears. Slice a small amount from the bottom of the pears to create a flat bottom if necessary so the pears stand upright.
Poach. Gently place the pears in the poaching liquid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes (depending upon size), gently turning every 5 minutes with a slotted spoon to ensure even color. Pears should be cooked but still firm. Cool at room temperature, turning occasionally to ensure even color. When the pears have cooled to room temperature transfer the pears and liquid to a container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate in the liquid at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally to keep color even.
Make a wine syrup. After the pears have marinated and turned a deep burgundy color, carefully remove the fruit from the poaching liquid. Discard the orange peel, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Heat the liquid in a small pot on the stove to medium. Simmer the liquid 15-25 minutes or until reduced in volume by 75%. The liquid will become thick and syrup-like. Cool to room temperature.
Make the whipped cream. Just before serving time, make the whipped cream. Combine cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small, deep bowl. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until thick and the consistency of whipped cream, about 3-4 minutes. Scoop into a ziptop plastic bag and cut one corner off to make a piping bag.
Plate. Place the pears on a serving plate and drizzle them with the reduced wine syrup. Pipe a mound of whipped cream next to the fruit and serve. Makes four.Adapted from From A Chefs Kitchen