I can’t remember ever having a poached pear and this was a recipe for Junior Masterchef Australia. They looked so delicious as Nicholas and I were watching the show. Since we’re working on teaching my grandson to cook I thought this would be a great recipe to work on with him. It teaches him some different techniques.
I love the way these came out. The flavor of the cranberry and spices goes very nicely with the pears. I used a bosc pear because I like the texture of them. I did 6 pears in my recipe and doubled the ingredients in the poaching liquid so that the pears would be covered for poaching.
Verjuice, or verjus, was very hard to find in my area. You can mail order it from Amazon. I used the regular white verjus since that’s what I had. I’m not sure I could even have ordered the rose one. It’s worth it to have in the house for cooking. It can be used in many other recipes, sweet and savory.
Yield: 2 servings
Source: Junior Masterchef Australia
For poaching the pears, you will need to make a cartouche. For the cartouche, cut a 12-inch/30-cm piece of baking paper from the roll.
Fold the square in half. I fold mine from corner to corner to make a triangle.
Fold the square in half again. Now it’s in quarters.
Keep folding the same way so that the tip becomes the center.
Fold a third time.
Fold a fourth time.
Hold the tip of the cartouche to the center of the medium saucepan,
Tear or cut off any paper that extends beyond the edge of the pan.
Open out to a circle – the cartouche is ready. The cartouche can be a bit larger than the pan so don’t worry if you make it too big.
Combine cranberry juice, verjuice, sugar, star anise and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.Using a melon baller or the end of your vegetable peeler, scoop the core out of the pears. Peel the pears, keeping the stalk intact, then place into the liquid. Cover with the cartouche, turning pears occasionally, for 35 minutes or until tender – this can be checked with a skewer inserted into the thickest part of pear. Remove from heat then carefully remove the pears from the liquid.Place 2 ladles of poaching liquid into a clean saucepan (approx 200ml) including the cinnamon and star anise and return to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Stand until ready to serve.
For the Mascarpone Cream:
Combine thickened cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixer and whisk until soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and whip for a further minute until thick and fluffy. Place into the fridge to chill for 3-5 minutes.
To serve place one pear onto a rectangular serving plate. Spoon the mascarpone cream onto the plate, then garnish with star anise and cinnamon. Strain the reduced syrup in a small jug and garnish plate with tuille biscuit.