Whilst most of my desserts are selected due to their desirability, aesthetics or occasion, sometimes they are chosen in an endeavor to use up left over ingredients that I do not wish to waste.
When I am choosing a dessert for this reason I look for one that would require me to purchase few additional ingredients, after all, the purpose of its selection is to save money by not wasting ingredients I already have, not to spend accruing more.
Pears are wonderful creatures; they are the perfect size for a quick snack, they pare incredibly well with certain meats and add a refreshing element to salads. What I love most about pears is that they can be an elegant, easy dessert with just a little baking or poaching. One of my most memorable desserts was a Poire belle Hélène - a gorgeous poached pear, vanilla ice cream and the most decadent of decadent chocolate sauces. Simple yet divine.
Less is always more with stand-alone pear desserts, just a simple syrup and maybe something dairy on the side. This recipe was not only easy and cheap regarding additional ingredients, but it looked like it would deliver on flavour and after all, flavour is everything.
prep time: 5mins.
cooking time: 1hour (includes 15mins resting).
total: 1 hour & 5mins.
taste: 4.5/5. Delicious, warm and satisfying.
The pears are firm but yield willingly to the curve of your spoon.
The first taste you get is the lush, buttery vanilla syrup, slightly sweetened by the caramel brown sugar.
The mascarpone is cool and creamy on your tongue, imparting heady spices, soft sweetness and bitter orange before the gorgeous juicy pear comes through once again.
The pear is the star and although it gives way momentarily to the syrup and mascarpone, it shines through the end leaving you palate refreshed and ready for another bite.
I made the following modifications:
- I used 2 pears
- I quartered the pear syrup
- I used 1tsp vanilla seed paste instead of a vanilla bean since I quartered the recipe
- I quartered the mascarpone
- I used 1tsp mixed spice
- I used 1/2tsp orange zest
- I used 1tbs icing sugar
recipe: Baked pears with spiced mascarpone - from Super Food Ideas - July 2008, Page 82