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.
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.
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.
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
For poached pears
4-6 small pears, peeled whole and stems left intact.
1 bottle prosecco
450 ml water
1 stick cinnamon
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)
zest and juice of 1 blood orange
For poached pears
- Once the pears are peeled, squeeze a little lemon juice over them to stop them from browning.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steep the pears preferably overnight in the poaching liquid.
For blood orange mascarpone cream
- In a mixing bowl whisk masacarpone cheese, vanilla and sugar until sugar has dissolved.
- 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.
- Refrigerate until needed. Serve with poached pears (recipe above) or see serving variations below.
- 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!
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.
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!
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