Friday, October 12, 2007

Brandied Roasted Pears

Mascarpone cheese is a rich, triple cream cheese that is most commonly encountered in Italian desserts such as tiramisu or zabaglione. The cheese is creamy white, smells like milk and cream, and has the consistency of a sticky pudding.

Mascarpone pairs well with fruit. For example, Wegman's supermarkets in western New York sell a Red Raspberry Mascarpone Mousse at their cheese counters that is made from mascarpone, crème fraiche, raspberry preserves, sugar, and vanilla extract. It is heavenly.

My wife, Wendy, found the following fruit and mascarpone recipe on PBS. It has a fabulous, sophisticated flavor but is very easy to make.

Brandied Roasted Pears
  • 3 ripe Bartlett pears (peeled, cored and sliced in half)
  • 1 1/4 c. Brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/3 c. Unsweetened apple juice
  • 2T (or more) Brandy
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone
  • 1/4 c. Clover honey
  • 1/2 c. Toasted pecans (finely chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Grease an 8"x8" pyrex dish.
  3. Cover bottom of dish with brown sugar.
  4. Lay pear halves on brown sugar.
  5. Combine brandy and apple juice. Pour over pears.
  6. Bake at 400° for 20-30 min.
  7. While pears are cooling for 3-4 min, thoroughly mix honey and mascarpone.
  8. Place pears in dessert dishes and top with mascarpone mixture and pecans.
  9. Drizzle pears with extra juice from baking dish and serve.

I'm going to experiment more with mascarpone around the house. I think something as simple as toast topped with mascarpone (perhaps mixed with maple syrup) and fresh fruit would be great. A tasty-looking French toast with Mascarpone and Blueberries recipe from FoodTV can be found here.

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