Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream

Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream (02) by MeetaK  

It seems like the Weather Gods decided to play a little joke on me and tease me further. Soon after I wrote my post singing the song of Spring, it began to snow again! As you can imagine I was shattered to see the white flakes coming down again. Some of my cherished friends jump for joy at the sight of snow, but please, not in the middle of March. I felt taunted!

However, I am a fighter and bounce back. The Weather Gods can play tricks all they want but I know they are going to loose this battle. As it rains, then snows, is windy and cold, I smile and walk into my favorite flower shop. Armed with colorful bunches and bouquets of tulips, ranunculus and hyacinths I walk out, defying the snow covering the streets and pavements.

Hyacinth Diptych (01) by MeetaK

Even Soeren's spirit seems to be at a low. "Wish Mother Hulda would take a break and go on vacation!" he says looking out of the window. I know he wants to get out - play soccer, ride his bike, and roller blades. As much as we enjoy fresh snow and the fun one can have with it, both of us are children of the summer and cannot wait till the weather turns from the dreary cold to the glorious warmth.

We have been celebrating a lot around here. No major events - it just seems when Tom gets home for the weekend it's reason enough to celebrate. Inviting friends and relaxing at home is what we're enjoying the most. I get to try out a few great new recipes and tweak my old ones. The only major event of course was the big 4, as What's For Lunch, Honey? crossed the incredible milestone.

Prosecco Pears Diptych (01) by MeetaK

To help celebrate this event I invited you all to a big bubbly birthday party with a lot of champagne, prosecco and sparkling wine. Looking at your lovely creations I can hardly wait to share all the goodies with you.

When entertaining, dessert is the course that I really enjoy making and creating the most. It's the icing on the cake!

Recently we had a raclette party and invited a few friends to enjoy a lovely evening with us. Raclette is in winter what BBQ is in the summer! I think there is nothing more awesome then sitting for hours with friends over an assortment of cheese, meat and pickles as each one puts together their own creation. One always overeats and over-drinks at raclette parties - at least at ours! When it comes to dessert I like making something that is easy to prepare for a crowd, not too heavy, fruity and full of flavor.

Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream (01) by MeetaK

Like these delightful poached pears. Usually I would poach them in wine to offer a bolder and robust flavor, but this time I chose prosecco.

For some prosecco would be second-rate champagne, but a really good prosecco will burst with flavors of spring flowers, herbs and fruit. It has no pretensions as it claims a totally different niche to champagne. Prosecco is made differently than champagne, using a variety of white grape with the same name. For this dessert prosecco was the perfect choice. I used one that was floral and fruity and slightly on the dryer side, boosting the flavors of the pears, citrus fruits and spices brilliantly.

When there is a crowd to prepare dessert for, it does not get easier than this. The pears can be poached a day or two in advance as they will benefit from the extra soak in the infused syrup and offer a more intense aroma. The blood orange mascarpone cream can also be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. Just take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you serve to allow the flavors to come to room temperature.

Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream

Printable version of recipe here

Ingredients

For poached pears
4-6 small pears, peeled whole and stems left intact.
200g sugar
1 bottle prosecco
450 ml water
1 stick cinnamon
4-6 cloves
2 star anise
zest of one lemon
zest of 1 orange

For blood orange mascarpone cream
200g mascarpone cheese
1 vanilla bean, innards scraped out (save pod to make vanilla sugar)
100g sugar
zest and juice of 1 blood orange

Method

For poached pears

  1. Once the pears are peeled, squeeze a little lemon juice over them to stop them from browning.

  2. In a large saucepan place sugar, prosecco, water, whole spices, lemon and orange zest and heat over medium heat. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved then increase heat and bring to the boil.

  3. Once the poaching liquid has come to the boil, reduce the heat again and add the pears. Cover the pears with a lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the pears are tender.

  4. Steep the pears preferably overnight in the poaching liquid.

For blood orange mascarpone cream
  1. In a mixing bowl whisk masacarpone cheese, vanilla and sugar until sugar has dissolved.

  2. Add the zest and drizzle enough juice from the blood orange so that is flavors the mascarpone nicely but making sure it does not become to runny.

  3. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with poached pears (recipe above) or see serving variations below.


Serving Variations:

  • Instead of the mascarpone cream, serve the pears with a scoop of bourbon vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce a nice take on Poires Belle Hélène.
  • Add a handful of chopped roasted pistachios for an added crunch.
  • Keep the syrup in a sealed bottle to be used in a variety of different ways. Here's one of my favorites: pour a glug of the syrup in a cocktail glass, add a raspberry or two and top with fresh, bubbly and chilled prosecco. The perfect aperitif to your party!

 


Verdict

Prosecco Pears with Blood Orange Mascarpone Cream (03) by MeetaK

A harmony of intermingling flavors - silky pears, with a tang of orange and lemon, caressed by a spiced syrup and a touch of bubbly prosecco rounds it all off to provide the perfect dish. A dollop of the blood orange mascarpone cream adds a touch of creamy exquisiteness taking it up another level. The prosecco gives the pears a lovely lighter note and I really preferred using it as a basis to poach them in comparison to wine.

Spring Greetings

You’ll find a variety of gorgeous floral greeting cards and prints on my Zazzle shop. The hyacinths in this post or the roses from my last post and several other recent photographs are available now – so send a loved one a special greeting this Spring!

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Food Blogger Connect 2010 is open for registration! This June London will be the venue for the hottest food blogger event in Europe. We’ve got a fantastic line-up of incredible speakers and the itinerary promises fun, networking and a lot of great presentations. Don’t wait any longer to register – we’ve only got 70 tickets left! Looking forward to seeing you all there!

You might like these fresh fruit ideas from WFLH:

 
Grilled Peach with Eucalyptus Honey Yogurt Figs in Cherry Caramel Tropical Fruit Salad with a Hint of Mint


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

34 comments :

  1. Just the kind of fruity and light dessert I crave now! Gorgeous pictures and lovely presentation!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. The flowers are beautiful. Your post put a smile on my face. I am excited for spring! The pear dessert is looks marvelous!

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  3. A figure-friendly dessert. The flowers are gorgeous and awesome presentation as always!

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  4. La primavera está reflejada en tu exquisita receta. Aquí tambien nevó, pero me resisto.
    Me gusta más tus fotos y tu receta.
    Buen día

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  5. Do we think alike or what? I just bought some blood oranges yesterday (we see so few here and they're usually awful) and was just thinking about making some blood orange cream but PH style with them. Looks and sounds delicious my dear, wish I'd had enough time and all to do something with champagne for you too. xo

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  6. Congratulations on your blogs big 4!! Sorry I couldn't be creative enough to come up with something for MM - but here is to many more blogging years from you *raising virtual champagne glass*
    =)

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  7. So beautiful, Meeta! The dessert is light and gorgeous!

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  8. Beautiful photo styling on the pear! It is a work of art, and I'm sure it tastes just as lovely as it looks.

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  9. One of the few spirits I like is Prosecco. I can imagine it pairs beautifully with the pears!! Gorgeoous photos Meeta!

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  10. Meeta,

    Beautiful dessert - it looks and sound so light and airy. I love poached pears but have never made. I am inspired to pop open a bottle of bubbly, pour a glass and start poaching! The blood orange really compliments the star anise in this dish as well - can almost taste it!

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  11. So so delightful! Just the kind of dessert I like. and what would not taste good with some mascarpone, fruit and spirit?!

    I got all the things I needed to do what I needed for the mingle, but I am stuck with a sprained back..

    Those are the lovely flowers! I can almost smell them sweet from here.

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  12. What a bunch of awesome mouth-watering photographs Meeta.

    You are Contagious
    I love watching your photos and analyzing them. Your photos have inspired me a lot and I just love studying your background usage. Every time I am at your website, I end up picking up the camera and taking some shots.

    Love the Background
    You really have that knack for getting a great background. In fact, I am sitting with G watching bunch of your photos and trying to learn about backgrounds from you.

    Thank you for posting these photos. I get excited and pumped everytime I am on your blog. Thanks for making it a wonderful place.

    G and Neel

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  13. Wowo beautiful, i love poached pears and this you have taken further with the sparkling wine. From that pic from the flower i can smell here the delicous sweet smel from that flower. One of my fav flower pot to keep inside, pity the flowers don't stay long .

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  14. Wowo beautiful, i love poached pears and this you have taken further with the sparkling wine. From that pic from the flower i can smell here the delicous sweet smel from that flower. One of my fav flower pot to keep inside, pity the flowers don't stay long .

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  15. Oh we love Prosecco from our years in Italy. This is some elegant, beautiful dessert and perfect for the winter-spring changeover. And extra gorgeous photos, Meeta! Enjoy the snow, it's better than rain!

    Can't wait for FBC!!!

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  16. And amazing blood oranges! The ones I buy at the market here are pale in comparison!

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  17. Though I'm not much into pears, this is the way I'd prepare them as dessert (well also as a chocolate-pear tarte :P).
    Liked the use of blood orange that sometimes can provide a bit of bitterness to balance the syrup.

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  18. Meeta, this is a simply gorgeous dish - I am in awe with your presentation and your photos.

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  19. What a coincident. I just bought pears and blood oranges at the market today and was thinking about some delicious recipe to make with! :) And poached pears are one of my favourite dessert! Yours look divine! Now I regret I haven't made anything with champagne for you. But anyway, happy blog anniversary! 4 years! Wow.

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  20. What a gorgeous flavour combination Meeta - yuuuum! Gorgeous colours and lovely pink hyacinths. I heart! x

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  21. This looks so spicy and fragrant. I just love fruit done in this style-beautiful too it is!
    Very inspirational, Meeta...

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  22. Mmm, I love this so much! :-) In the midst of ghastly weather I bought a bright primrose plant and how it cheered me. :-) May your spring come oh so quickly. :-)

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  23. Thank you all so much for all your comments - it seems my luck has turned and Spring is actually in sight! We're having beautiful sunny skies and more or less warm days! These pears are perfect way to celebrate! Hope you enjoy!

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  24. That looks so refreshing, I had an idea lined up for this month's champagne mingle but it has not come to being yet. Can't wait to see you at FBC!

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  25. Meeta spring/summer is finally setting in for you :) and you're already belting out such great posts. Cannot wait to see what is up your sleeve for the warm days. The pears looks absolutely delightful.

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  26. Dessert in perfect harmony Meeta... just beautiful!

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  27. I love the way you dress the plate with an elegant pear!

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  28. I love the way you really dressed up a nice, simple dish and made it a fantastic work of art!

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  29. Gorgeous! This gives me spring fever so bad!

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  30. SO funny - when i read above about your friend who jumps for joy at the sight of snow... my eyes grew wide and i yelled - "ME TOO !" LOL !! :)

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  31. Count me in among the friends who jump for joy at the sight of snow ;-)

    I LOVE this dish - as much for the elegant pics as for the taste. Too gorgeous, Meeta!

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  32. I am discovering your blog! I just LOVE it and it is now added on my links. That dessert is gorgeous, it would not be that bad to turn it into a tiramisu no?? Something to think about.
    Have a nice week end

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  33. previous message from
    www.lauresophie.com
    Weirdo!I cannot sign up...

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta