Maple Mascarpone-Stuffed Pears

This elegant dessert pairs the warm flavors of pears with the richness of creamy mascarpone cheese, and it will be a huge hit for your fall and winter entertaining. Select sweet and juicy Bartlett pears or crisp, russet-color Bosc pears. Look for smooth skin, free from any soft spots.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • ¼ cup golden balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 ripe pears

Method

  1. Combine the mascarpone with 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, and stir to combine. Set aside. Measure the white grape juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and the golden balsamic vinegar into a pot large and deep enough to fit 4 pears upright. Add the cinnamon stick. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, peel the pears; then, using a corer, core out the center seeds and stem. When the white grape juice mix reaches a boil, stir in 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone, stirring to combine. Carefully lower each pear into the boiling liquid. Lower the heat to medium. Cover and cook at a medium boil, using a spoon to occasionally baste the pears with the cooking liquid, for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the pears and arrange them in a shallow bowl in a single layer. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Lower the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking the liquid, uncovered, at a low boil for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it looks like thin caramel and lightly coats a spoon. You’ll have about ¾ cup. Remove from the heat. If you have a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, fill it with the remaining mascarpone and maple syrup mixture; as an alternate, use a tiny spoon like an espresso spoon to fill each of the 4 cored pears with the mascarpone mixture. Spoon the warm cooking liquid around and over the pears. Serve warm.

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