Can a pear be described as creamy? If you poach them well, they do turn soft and luscious. So to me, they do come close to creamy. Paired with yuzu and mascarpone, it becomes just lovely to eat.

This dessert came about as I had some Moscato d’Asti (semi-sweet white wine) left over from a dinner party.  I could not possibly drink up 2 and 1/4 cups of it on my own so it was quite convenient to use it in a dessert. The taste of sweet and tangy yuzu (lemon -read more in my ‘Ingredients’ list) from a store bought bottle of yuzu cordial taste wonderful with the mascarpone, I cannot get enough of it. This recipe will work with any white wine. If the wine is dry, you will have to add sugar. It is a simple dessert to put together and a good make ahead dessert for big parties.

Moscato d’Asti Poached Pears With Yuzu Mascarpone

Prep: 15 minutes 
Cook: ~20 minutes to 1 hour depending on how ripe the pears are. 
Inactive: Poached pears have to be completely chilled in the refrigerator before using.
Level: Easy
Serves: 3
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes.
Make ahead?  Pears can be poached and kept refrigerated 5 days ahead. The yuzu mascarpone can be prepared and kept refrigerated a few hours ahead. 

Ingredients

3 ripe but firm pears*
2 and 1/4 cups Moscato d’Asti/semi-sweet white wine/white wine**
1 stick clove
1 or 2 emptied vanilla pods***
OR
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar (optional)*
1/2 cup mascarpone**
1 to 2 Tablespoons Honey Yuzu/Citron Tea cordial (yuzu cordial)***
* I prefer using Bosch, Anjou or Comice pears for poaching as they are flavourful and keep their shapes.
** Moscato d’Asti is a lightly sparkling floral, semi-sweet white wine made from moscato(muscat) grapes from the region of Asti in Italy. Those without ‘Asti’ on the label just means it was not made within that region. If using white wine, add more sugar to compensate.
*** What am I referring to here? You know when you scrapped the seeds off a vanilla pod? The emptied pod is what we need here. I always have these emptied vanilla pods sitting in one of my many sugar jars.
* I choose not to add sugar as I do not have a particularly sweet tooth and the brand of Moscato d’Asti that I use is sufficiently sweet. Add as much or as little as you wish
** So as to not crowd this list, please scroll down to ‘Tips’ for ideas to use up any remaining mascarpone.
*** So as to not crowd this list, pleases scroll down to ‘Tips’ at bottom of this page.

Method

1. Peel the pear. For presentation purpose, leave the stalk on if you wish. Used a melon baller (or a metal measuring spoon) to scoop a little hollow out of the middle bottom (the calyx) of the pear. This will help the poach pear to sit pretty on your serving plate.
2. Choose a pot that will fit all the pears snugly in one layer.
3. Place the pears on their sides and add the Moscato d’asti. There should be enough to cover the pears, if not, top up with water.
4. If you are using sugar, add it now with the stick of clove and the emptied pods of vanilla or the vanilla extract.
5. Make a cartouche. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the surface of the poaching liquid. Snip off tiny holes (about three should do) to allow for steam to escape and to allow the paper to sit on the pears. This not only allows for even cooking, it will colour your pears evenly and reduce the rate of evaporation. Top up with water if necessary to keep pears submerged.
6. Bring to a boil. Once liquid comes to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer away for 20 minutes or until the pears are just tender. Actual poaching time will depend on how ripe the pears are. Mine were ripe and still firm so took about 30 minutes. Use a skewer to test. If it slides through easily, turn off the burner and allow to cool completely before refrigerating in the poaching liquid. I put the whole pot in the refrigerator. Keeps well up to 5 days refrigerated.

To serve
1. You will need a fork and knife to eat the poached pear.
2. Place the pears into individual plates without any poaching liquid. Transfer some of the poaching liquid (strained) into a small jug.
3. Loosen up the mascarpone with a spoon. Fold in the yuzu syrup into the mascarpone, making sure there are some of the yummy yuzu peel in it too. Taste and add more/less according to your preference.
4. Dollop the yuzu mascarpone alongside the pears.
5. Take to the table with the jug of poaching liquid so that diners can drench their pears with it just before eating. Oh, and if you have more yuzu mascarpone, take that to.

Tips

What is Honey Yuzu/Citron Tea cordial (yuzu cordial)?
Made primarily from a variety of lemon that is very fragrant. The juice is lovely but there is not much of it. The zest is the true gem of the fruit. The smell is intoxicating. I see them sold fresh only on the rare occasion. They are bottled into cordials, syrups, salad dressings, in dried form, etcetera. The yuzu and its by products are typically from Japan or Korea. I see yuzu cordial stocked under the Asian/Japanese/Korean food aisle and sometimes in the drinks aisle. I also buy them from Korean groceries stores. Buy the ones with visible yuzu peel in the cordial (almost all do). Often labelled as ‘Honey Citron Tea’ or ‘Gold Citron Tea’ or ‘Yuzu Tea’. Refer to the picture above. Not all yuzu cordials contain honey. More often than not it contains sugar or a combination of honey and sugar. Which should you buy? All of them taste pretty good. Although, I do prefer those with honey. Best to read the ingredient list yourself and decide. They taste nothing like the lemonade you are used to. Drink it hot or cold. Very moreish.

What to do with remaining poaching liquid?
(1) Poach more pears or perhaps some peaches.
(2) Add ice and drink up.
(3) Reduce to a syrup and use over vanilla ice cream.

What to do with the remaining mascarpone?
(1) Tiramisu! Click, Tiramisu With Eggs But Without The Raw Eggs
(2) I have another poached pear recipe. Coffee Poached Pears Scented With Orange, Cinnamon and Cloves

(3) And, yet another poached pear recipe, Yellowest Saffron Poached Pears . Is it not pretty?

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

I saw some beautiful blushing radishes and here’s what I made.
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