These Cranberry Poached Pears recipe is a stupid-easy to make dessert with very little hands-on time. Served with Vermont Creamery’s creamy and soft mascarpone cheese, these pears are worthy of a festive and colorful VIP dinner or a simple splurge for you and your family.
This post has been sponsored by Vermont Creamery. All opinions are my own.
As much as I love living in Vermont, it would be a lie if I were to say that the adjustment has been an easy one. The drastic temperature drop (compared to our life in the BVI) has been so hard on me. It is very cold here. In my 39 years on this earth, I lived in 3 different countries, but I have never experienced this kind of a cold before. Sadly, the winter hasn’t even started yet. Even my husband, who lived a portion of his life in North Dakota and Alaska, is having a hard time with the change. So much so that back in September, after feeling so sick for a few days, we found ourselves in the emergency room. After several tests, we found out that he had pneumonia.
As you can imagine, he couldn’t get out of bed for weeks. Thankfully, he is better now, but we learned that pneumonia is not one of those illnesses that goes away in a few days. It takes months, sometimes even years, to heal. We are being very careful now, but I can’t help but worry about either of us getting sick.
During those two weeks that he was ill in bed and couldn’t go to work, his boss Roger took over his responsibilities. If you have ever worked in a hotel or know someone who does, you know that an upper management role is a very intense job. Throughout the entire time that he was out sick, Roger, along with his team, covered for Dwight with no days off. On top of that, he even managed to find time to call me every day to check on us, telling me over and over again that Dwight should take off all the time he needs to heal. What a good boss, right?
So this weekend, we have invited Roger and his family over for dinner and I want to be sure that we show our appreciation with a great evening of delicious food and great wine. On the menu, I have my go-to VIP dinner dish – Company Pot Roast served along with My Mom’s Bulgur Pilaf. For salad, I am making Citrusy Roasted Beet Goat Cheese Salad, and for dessert, I am kicking things up a notch and making this Cranberry Poached Pears with Mascarpone.
About The Recipe:
Being a hotelier, Roger and his family have spent most of their lives outside the US living in South and Central America. Much like us, they are foodies and have an eclectic palate. Therefore, I want to select a dessert recipe that is out of the ordinary, yet easy to make with very little hands-on time. Additionally, I want something festive and colorful to match the occasion. So as you can see in the photos, these Cranberry Poached Pears fits the bill perfectly.
The prep for these pears could not be easier. You literally combine pears, cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, and rosemary in a pot, fill it with water, and drizzle it with honey. Once the mixture comes to a boil, allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. And that’s it! It is that simple.
I will be serving my poached pears with a few tablespoons of Vermont Creamery’s mascarpone cheese and sprinkling them with a handful of hazelnuts. If you have been following along with my past posts, you know that I have been a fan of their products since before we even moved to Vermont. I even got a chance to attend their yearly Vermont Cheese Camp event back in 2016. Similar to their goat cheeses (like I used in this Berry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding), their mascarpone is soft and creamy. It is made in small batches from fresh, hormone-free local cream sourced here in Vermont.
If you have never tried mascarpone other than in tiramisu, this is a great recipe to get an idea of how truly versatile it is. A high quality mascarpone like this one can easily elevate an otherwise humble poached fruit recipe and make it VIP dinner worthy.
A Few Notes On The Recipe:
– As you can see in the recipe below, I use Bosch pears. However, I have also made this exact recipe with Anjou pears and they were very good as well. However, Anjou pears cooked much faster than Bosch pears. So if you decide to use another variety of pear, do keep in mind that the time of cooking may vary.
– To sweeten the recipe, I use ⅓ cup honey for every 6 cups of water. It is just the perfect amount for our taste buds. However, feel free to adjust it to your liking. If you feel like it needs more sweetness, you can add it into the water or drizzle each serving with more honey before serving as well.
– You can serve this cold, but I personally LOVE it when it is slightly warm. For this weekend’s dinner, I plan on prepping everything in the pot and cooking it an hour before I am ready to serve dessert. Since there is very little hands on time required, it makes it easy for me to serve it warm just like I like it.
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Cranberry Poached Pears
- 5 medium-size Bosc pears peeled
- 2 ½ cups fresh cranberries rinsed
- Juice of an orange
- Zest of an orange cut in chunks as seen in the photos
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary more as garnish
- 6 cups water
- ⅓ cup honey or more to taste
- 1 cup Vermont Creamery mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup hazelnuts roughly chopped
- Place pears, cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon stick, rosemary in a pot (with a lid) that will accommodate all these ingredients comfortably. I used a 3 ½ quart dutch oven.
- Pour the water over the ingredients. Drizzle them with the honey.
- Put the lid on and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in one of the pears goes in and out easily.
- When ready to serve, spread 2-3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese into the bottom of a bowl, place a pear in the middle, and drizzle it with the juices and a few of the cooked cranberries.
- Sprinkle it with hazelnuts and a few leaves of fresh rosemary. If prefered, drizzle it with more honey.
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This recipe was adapted (with several changes) from Eva Longoria’s cookbook Eva’s Kitchen .