Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Poached Pear Mascarpone Pie

Oh my oh my how I love pie! Let me just tell you, this is the most delicious pie I have ever tasted and that's what my dinner guests told me as well!

Mascarpone is a delicate Italian cheese. It has the texture of cream cheese but a much different flavor. It's very silky and not as rich. I bought mine at Smith's in the deli. It isn't cheap so if you are on a budget, I suggest you buy an 8 oz mascarpone and then an 8 oz cream cheese. It isn't the same if you replace it with cream cheese.

It's not rich at all so you can eat slice after slice and not get sick. It's creamy with a delicious, sweet spiced pear syrup that you drizzle over the top. It has a heavenly spice fall/winter flavor to it and the soft, juicy poached pear on top just makes it a real treat. You'll also enjoy the flaky, buttery shortbread crust with the creamy filling.

I created this after seeing a show on the cooking channel that featured America's best deserts. There was a little bakery being featured and the woman made this. It was her prized desert. The recipe however was a secret - so I had to create it myself. I think I did very well!! You could try this desert with homemade apple pie filling on top, cherries or berries. But you really have to try the pears. It is out of this world!!

Poached Pear Mascarpone Pie

Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
Mascarpone Filling
(You may want to double this recipe if filling a deep dish pan - that's what I did)
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese (16 0z) I purchased mine at Smith's
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
Poached Pears
  • 4 ripe yet very firm red skinned pears
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half (or 1-2 tsp cinnamon)
Make Crust - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. In small bowl mix baking powder and flour together. Add to butter mixture and blend well. Pat into a pie plate or tart dish. Bake 12-15 minutes. Then cool.

In a large bowl beat mascarpone and sugar on medium speed until blended. Add cream and beat until stiff. Fold into cooled pie crust. Cover with plastic and refrigerate over night.

Poached Pears - Peel the pears and cut them in half from top to bottom, leaving the stems intact. Core each pear half by scooping out center with a spoon.

Add the water, honey, and sugar to a 4-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until the sugar and honey are dissolved, then add the ginger, cloves, allspice and cinnamon stick.

Slip the pears into the liquid and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pears can be just pierced with a fork.

Transfer the pears and the poaching liquid to a smaller container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, remove pears from liquid and arrange onto pie. Boil liquid until it reduces into a syrup (place in a wide saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes or until syrupy and reduced by half).Drizzle over pears and pie slice. Enjoy!

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