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Red Wine Poached Pears with Chocolate & Cardamom

Red Wine Poached Pears with Chocolate & Cardamom

  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



For the Pears:

  • 4 ripe but firm pears, peeled (I used Bosc)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 cardamom pods (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, grated or chopped (I like 70-80% dark)

For Mascarpone Cream:

  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • Tiny pinch of cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract


For the Pears:

  1. Combine the water, red wine, sugar, and spices in a pot (pick a pan that is deep enough that the pears can stand up and be mostly covered by the liquid). Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the pears and slice a tiny piece off the bottom of each pear so they can stand upright in the pan.
  3. Carefully place the pears in the liquid so they are standing upright, cover the pot, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Check on the pears every 5 minutes or so to ensure they are evenly submerged.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, uncover, and allow the pears to cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
  5. Transfer the entire pot to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours (and up to 24).
  6. After 4 hours, remove the pot from the fridge and allow it to return to room temperature. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside.
  7. Return the pot to the stove and place over medium-high heat. Simmer the liquid until it is reduced to roughly 1 cup, about 15 minutes. You want it to be thick and slightly syrupy. Remove the pot from the heat, spoon out the solids (spices, etc), and whisk in the grated or chopped dark chocolate.

For Mascarpone Cream:

  1. Whisk together the mascarpone, milk, cardamom, and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.

To Serve:

  1. Halve each pear and carefully scoop out the seeds and core (I used a small melon baller to do this). Place each pear half on a plate, drizzle with the chocolate-wine sauce, and top with a dollop of the mascarpone cream. Serve immediately.