Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 1 hour Serves: 2
This is a perfect dessert for a winter dinner party, elegant but not too rich. Early grey tea, honey, and lavender marry together well and play off the tanginess of the mascarpone, which adds a luxurious texture. The prep and assembly for this is also refreshingly simple, and the components can be made a day ahead of time to give you one less thing to worry about when entertaining guests. The only thing to watch for when making this is the honey chip. Use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a baking tray and monitor closely to ensure you don’t burn the sugar.
- 2 ripe (but still firm) bosc pears; peeled, halved, and cored
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup strong earl grey tea
- 6 tbsp honey
- 4 sprigs fresh lavender
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp blackstrap rum
- 4 honey graham crackers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Soak pears in water and 1 tsp of lemon juice to keep from browning. Combine white wine, tea, honey, vanilla extract, lavender, and remaining tsp of lemon juice in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Stir mixture until the honey dissolves and gently add pears to poaching liquid cut side down. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until pears become very tender; about 30 minutes. Flip the pears over about halfway through to ensure they poach evenly.
Meanwhile, put the graham crackers in a food processor and run until they become powdered, set aside for later.
Once the pears have finished remove from the poaching liquid and drain on a wire rack. Cool the pears in the fridge. Bring the poaching liquid back up to a low boil and reduce to about ¾ cup. Reserve ¼ cup of the syrup. Drizzle a small amount of the syrup onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking tray and place in the oven. Monitor the syrup in the oven closely, once it begins to bubble and brown slightly at the edges, remove the tray from the oven and place to the side to cool.
Add the mascarpone, sugar, and rum to a large bowl of a stand mixer and whisk. Add in the reserved ¼ cup syrup and whisk on high until peaks form. Place the mascarpone in the fridge to set. Reserve the remaining syrup to drizzle over the pears once you are ready to serve.