Vanilla Poached Pears with Amaretto Mascarpone Cream

I was delighted with a kind invitation from Kym, of Free Spirit Eater, to write a guest post.  She challenged me to make a healthy, seasonal dessert.  Despite the look of my blog, I really eat rather healthy most of the day and treat myself to just a nibble of something sweet after dinner; but my choice is usually laden with butter, chocolate or cream or all three.  So please check out Kym’s fabulous blog to see my first healthier dessert! You’ll enjoy meeting a sweet foodie friend, a culinary school grad and talented blogger.

Vanilla Poached Pears with Amaretto Mascarpone Cream…adapted from Bon Appetit

2 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
6 tablespoons honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Amaretto

Gently toss pears with lemon juice in a large bowl.  Set aside to prepare the poaching liquid.

Combine water, wine and honey in a medium saucepan.  Scrape seeds from inside of vanilla bean and add beans and seeds to the pan.  Heat over medium until honey dissolves.  Carefully add pears and cover with a round of parchment paper.  Reduce heat to bring liquid to a gentle simmer.  Cook for about 15 minutes, gently turning pears once in the middle of the cooking time.

Remove pears to a large bowl.  Reduce poaching liquid to about 3/4 cup by cooking for a few more minutes.  Cool this syrup, then pour over pears.  Cover pears and refrigerate till cold, at least 8 hours.

Before serving, whip mascarpone cheese with sugar and Amaretto.  Add 1/4 cup poaching liquid and whip till soft peaks from.

To serve, thinly slice pears lengthwise from a spot just below the stem to the wider end, leaving pear attached at stem end.  Fan pears over individual serving plates and serve with a dollop of mascarpone cream, a drizzle of syrup and a berry and sprig of mint if desired.

Serves 4.


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  1. Lizzy this is gorgeous! I am moving into ‘pear season’ myself. With all the beautiful pears available now there are so many opportunities. I love the simplicity of your dish and the flavors sound perfect!

  2. Pegasuslegend says:

    I have yet to try a poached pear! These look yummy enough to attempt… Kym has a great blog will check it out today!

  3. That is one elegant dessert! You raised the bar!

  4. Baker Street says:

    Great guest post! Poached pear w vanilla and amaretto sounds divine!

  5. looks delicious!

  6. Pretty easy and very elegant dessert 🙂

  7. Nice pairing with the cheese, this is another one of fav though it will be just a pinch Lizzy and its enough to satisfy my hunger for dessert.

  8. Еликсир says:

    Lizzy, your dessert is wonderful! And so beautifully served!
    He is fantastic!
    I will eat with great pleasure, my dear! Fruit and vanilla cream, I love so much!

    Best Regards

  9. I do love chocolate – but there is something wonderfully seductive about vanilla. And while I always poach pears in a red wine mixture – this recipe has convinced me to get out of my red box. Just lovely.

  10. mmmmm, pears and vanilla, pure delight, my dear! Beautiful pics too!

  11. Cooking Gallery says:

    What a great looking dessert! I am not very good at making dessert, but this one I think I can make. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)!

  12. This is a beautiful looking dessert!

  13. Parsley Sage says:

    So hooty tooty! These look amazing and very gourmet 🙂 Love them!

  14. I love pears and this dessert look absolutely beauty!!! I love all your desserts, gloria

  15. Oh wow that sounds so good I will try that since Pears are in season now.

  16. Still looks like a treat even though it may be a healthy one.

  17. No. No healthier. I’m going to eat as unhealthy as possible while I’m still young and my body can handle it. Desserts aren’t meant to be healthy.

    Mmm… Creamy buttered chocolate…

  18. Curry and Comfort says:

    I’ll eat any dessert you put on your blog Lizzy! Healthy or Indulgent… they always look good to me. This looks very light and satisfying.

  19. OHMHHHHHG. This is gorgeous!!! Another beautiful dish 🙂

  20. BonnieBanters says:

    Fabulous! I love pears…this is so pretty!

  21. Movies on my Mind says:

    looks cool

  22. Dressing up a simple fruit can make for a wonderful as well as elegant dessert.
    You did a lovely plating here! Poached pears do sound delicious with the cream-yum!

  23. This is right up my alley, simple and healthy!

  24. This sounds perfect…I might have to make my wife stop at the home on the way home to pick up pears for dessert. 😉

  25. Just stunning! And I love any excuse to eat mascarpone!

  26. I adore this recipe! Very Elegant, just like your blog!

  27. A very elegant dessert.

  28. The plating is so gorgeous! I don’t think anyone would miss the calories with this sort of dessert.

  29. i haven’t made poached pears this year. I don’t know how i missed it. Yours look amazing, well, everything you make looks great!

  30. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Well not only healthy but it looks beautiful too! Going to check out the guest post now.

  31. This sounds amazing Lizzy! The combo of ingredients here is great. I can see how this would BE light but taste oh so decadent due to the mascarpone and the wine. I can’t wait to try this!

  32. I simply adore pears and the marscapone sounds delicious with them.

  33. Looks so delicious!
    Love the blog! Following 🙂

  34. Looks so delicious!
    Love the blog! Following 🙂

  35. Mmmmmm I love this dessert! The mascarpone and amaretto cream sounds soooooo delicious! I must try this combo! Hope you are having a great week Lizzy!

  36. Torviewtoronto says:

    this looks wonderful
    lovely colourful presentation

  37. This looks and sounds fabulous–amaretto mascarpone cream? Yum!!

  38. What an elegant and lovely dessert! Pears are so scrumptious this time of the year, but adding mascarpone to them sounds even better!

  39. Erin @ Cooking on Whim says:

    The mascarpone cream makes me want this dessert!

  40. Oooo… you must really love me today. What a fabulous recipe!

  41. JavelinWarrior says:

    I love bartlett pears, love mascarpone, love amaretto, love vanilla bean seeds, and love love LOVE that you put them all together! Your presentation is beautiful but I’m quite sure I would have eaten every bit before it hit the plate 🙂

  42. Wow – this is a STUNNING dessert! I love, LOVE desserts and if I make something laden with butter or cream…a small bit is not an option!

    Congratulations on your guest post and I’m headed over there now!

  43. Cookin' Canuck says:

    This is such a lovely, simple recipe. Perfect dessert for the holidays.

  44. I have recently discovered the wonders of poached pears myself. This sounds like a delightful combo.

  45. Elies_Lie says:

    poached pear looks so lovely lizzy, loves the way u combine them with the cheese! nice color! 😉

  46. Very elegant Liz.

  47. I am easy again today Lizzy, will come back later.

  48. I don’t think I have any healthy desserts in my repertoire either 🙂 This looks delicious! I especially love the colour of the poached pears- at first, I thought those were slices of mango or pineapples!!

  49. –Beautifully Presented. Oh, I’d love some of these these :)) xx

  50. This looks so elegant and still delicious! Love the sound of the amaretto mascarpone cream – so indulgent.

  51. Vicki Bensinger says:

    I love pears! This looks so delicious and with the mascarpone and amaretto cream it sounds like heaven. A nice light dish for the holidays!

  52. I am truly touched by all your sweet and generous comments! Thank you!

  53. I would really enjoy this.

  54. Catherine says:

    Dear Lizzy, I just love poached and the marscapone addition brings them to a new level. Blessings, Catherine xo

  55. What a simple, yet elegant presentation! Just lovely.

  56. Simplicity itself, but utterly yummy! What a lovely recipe.

  57. Amazing! Love this light pear dessert. Anything with marscapone cheese is awesome!! Thank you for sharing on Fit and Fabulous Fridays! 🙂

  58. Magic of Spice says:

    Just heavenly!

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