Credit: Excerpted from The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook © by Amelia Levin. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
This recipe is from Janice Thomas of Savory Spoon Cooking School.
It’s not hard to find beautiful pears in Door County during the late summer and fall, and cherries can be found year-round preserved in jars with their juices.
Janice Thomas developed this recipe as a way to use those juices from a jar of unsweetened cherries without having to waste a drop. For more cherry flavor, throw in some of the cherries during the last few minutes of poaching the pears.
- 6 large ripe but firm pears, such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Bosc
- 4 cups unsweetened cherry juice
- 2 cups Riesling, Vouvray, or other sweet white wine
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Optional Garnish Fresh mint sprigs
- Optional Garnish Ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 Peel and core the pears, leaving the stems intact. (If you have an apple corer, core the pears from the bottom up to the start of the narrow top.)
- 2 Pour the cherry juice, wine, and cinnamon stick into a large saucepan or Dutch oven that is large enough to hold the pears in a single layer. Add the pears and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, rolling the pears over every 5 minutes.
- 3 Check the pears for tenderness by inserting a paring knife into the thickest part of the pear. If there is resistance, continue simmering the pears, checking every 5 minutes. When tender, transfer each pear with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl. Add enough of the poaching liquid to the bowl to come up 1 inch around the pears. (Reserve any remaining poaching liquid to use in Champagne cocktails!)
- 4 The pears may be served at room temperature or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
- 5 Meanwhile, combine the cream and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer to firm peaks. Add the mascarpone cheese and sugar and continue beating on medium speed until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture until serving time.
- 6 Place each pear in a serving bowl and spoon some of the poaching liquid over the top. Use a large soup spoon to scoop an oval of the mascarpone cream and place it alongside the pear. Garnish with mint sprigs and nutmeg, if desired.