July 1, 2013

Today's a good day for simplicity



I found this recipe a while ago and I immediately loved it for the simplicity and several of my favorite favors combined into one lovely dessert. 
This week in Seattle is crazy hot (at least for us Seattlites) high 80s and 90s. And I don't know about you but when it gets hot, I get lazy. So this dessert looks perfect after a little grilled steak and veggies al fresco.

Roasted Pears with Espresso Mascarpone Cream adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Martha Stewart
For the pears
4 pears, any type (8 pears, if you use the seckel variety)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the mascarpone cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
1 cup mascarpone
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons espresso, chilled
For finishing
cocoa powder
toasted ground almonds
Make the pears
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel pears if you like (not really necessary if you buy organic), halve them lengthwise and core. Place cut side up in a roasting pan and sprinkle with lemon juice. Sprinkle sugar evenly over pear halves and dot with butter. Pour water into the roasting pan and bake pears for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Flip pears over and bake an additional 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Pears are ready when a knife slips easily into the thickest part. (Seckel pears may take less time. Start checking for done-ness around the 40-minute mark.) Allow pears to cool to room temperature.
Make the mascarpone cream
Pour whipping cream into a small bowl. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream, stirring to evenly distribute. Add bean to cream. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, along with the bowl and beater of an electric stand mixer.
Just before serving, pour cream through a fine mesh strainer into the chilled mixing bowl. Add mascarpone and espresso, and beat on medium speed until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and with mixer running, sprinkle in sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Finishing
Top a pear half with a dollop of mascarpone cream. Add one or both of the finishing ingredients to taste.
For more recipes and lovely pictures check out the blog: http://chimeraobscura.com/mi/thats-a-wrap/

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