I can hear the faint sound of Autumn whooshing and rustling a few crispy leaves and creaking it’s almost-bare barky branches as a seasonal change is nearly upon us. The air is that little bit crisper in the morning and late afternoon…
The horses are that little bit more hairy…
And Betty’s starting to grow in her Winter “mane”…
She prefers that we don’t call it back hair.
And I’m dusting off the slow cooker embracing the full excitement that comes with cooler-month comfort food.
But stews and casseroles aside. There are so many great Autumny desserts. Using pumpkins and all those wonderful winter spices I so look forward to. I fully embrace Christmas in July! In fact, I’ve already started dusting off my baubles. Too soon?
Spiced Poached Pears & Cinnamon Mascarpone Cream
Spiced poached pears:
2 cups water
1 cup red wine
1 Tbl honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
2 black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
1 lemon or orange, peeled
1 beetroot, peeled
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tsp xylitol
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl full cream yoghurt
4 Tbl heavy cream
– In a saucepan bring the water and wine up to a rolling simmer, adding all the spices, citrus peel, honey and beetroot.
– Peel your pears, leaving the stalk on for decorative effect, and it makes them easier to handle when hot.
– Using a sharp pairing knife, hollow out the base of the pear, scooping out the seeds and stringy flesh as much as possible. Once hollowed out, using the sharp knife slice a little off the bottom of the pear off so that it stands flat.
– Next submerge your pears in the poaching liquid and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the pear goes in easily.
– You can turn off the heat and leave the pears to steep in the liquid while you finish the main course. This will keep them warm, and also intensify the red flavour obtained from the beetroot & wine. But just make sure to remove the saucepan from the heat otherwise the pears may over cook and go mushy.
– For the mascarpone cream, whip up all the ingredients, and serve a big dollop next to your warm poached pears once they’ve been drained off in a colander to allow the excess moisture to drip off.