After a huge Thanksgiving Day feast, forget the pies — this is my preferred finish. The best thing about this dessert is it can be made eight to 24 hours in advance. In fact, it insists upon that time to soak up the winey marinade and give the pear that stunning rich garnet color.
With a melon baller, scoop our seeds to form a small circle, 3/4-inch deep.
You should not leave it in the marinade much longer than that, or the spices will be too intense.
This is a great recipe for using up some of those sweeter red wines you may not enjoy drinking. They may not be your cup of tea for quaffing, but they taste fine soaked into pears.
Cover with parchment, and gently poach.
If you wish, you can make an easy sauce with the poaching liquid. Reduce the poaching liquid, over high heat, in half. Combine 2 teaspoons of corn starch with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk this mixture into the reduced liquid. Return to a boil until the mixture has thickened. Pour over the pears.
I garnished my pears with raspberry sugar. Orange zest would be delicious as well. That makes me think of Grand Marnier — wouldn’t that be lovely whisked into the mascarpone instead of honey?
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