Ginger-cinnamon poached pears with sweet mascarpone
Ric’s mum, who lives in Australia, flew to New Zealand to stay with us last week. Before she arrived we planned meals around the early autumn produce abundant here at the moment, coupled with dishes that we love and wanted to share with her.
Among other things, we feasted on marinated seared scallops served with a selection of Mediterranean and Asian salads, a hearty Greek stew with chickpeas and feta, smoked salmon pizza, falafel and hummus wraps, and spicy Thai curry. One of the sweet treats we made for her was a particular hit: Pears poached with ginger and cinnamon.
The warmth of fresh ginger and the sweet spiciness of cinnamon pair beautifully (pun intended) with the tender pears. And the sweet syrup, made by reducing the cooking liquid until thickened, brings out the pears natural sweetness and coats them with a luscious gloss. They’re also effortless to make. I transformed a bag of pears into a generous bowl full of aromatic poached pears while casually chatting to Ric’s mum.
We served them for breakfast with muesli and yogurt, and we ate them for dessert with mascarpone (an Italian soft cream cheese) that we flavored with a touch of vanilla and sugar. The pears also make an excellent pie or crumble filling and are divine pureed for a sauce or sorbet (although we polished them off before getting that far). They’re equally delicious warm or cold, and keep well in the fridge, covered, for a few days.
8 pears (Beurre Bosc are ideal)
1-inch knob of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons superfine (caster) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ (icing) sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract