Pear-ific

Since we’re enjoying our pears around here, we thought we’d share this one before we head off to Mr. N’s new international destination. It doesn’t really fit with any particular region or state; although we did use our Canadian Ice Syrup again. Not to worry if you don’t have any, maple syrup will do the trick. We’re calling these Grilled Pears with Iced Mascarpone.

Start with some Bosc pears, slice them in half, scoop out the core and remove the stem. 

Next it’s time to poach the pears. We used a combination of water, white wine, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar for our pears. We first dissolved the sugar before adding the pears to the liquid.

We then simmered the pears over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. In the meantime, we sautéed some diced pancetta for about four or five minutes.

When the pancetta was done, we toasted some chopped walnuts in the grease and oil and reserved them for later. The pears were then removed from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool slightly. We used this time to mix some mascarpone cheese, chopped fresh basil and ice syrup together to serve as our topping once the pears were ready to go.

For the final touches, we heated our grill pan on the stove and placed the pears, fruit-side down on the greased surface. We grilled the pears until they were slightly caramelized, and then scooped the iced mascarpone we had set aside over the top and sprinkled them with the pancetta and walnuts.

Mike and I loved the sweet and savory flavors of this dish. Everything from the sweetness of the iced mascarpone to the crunch of the toasted walnuts came together in a perfect balance. We ate our pears for dinner, but they would make a great side dish or appetizer. As for our spoon ratings, Mike gave the grilled seasonal goodness 3 spoons and I came in at 4 spoons. Since we poached the pears in the wine, we didn’t let the kids have too much. They each got a bite or two, but they both wanted more. Had then been allowed to dig-in, I think they would have come in with pretty high spoon marks too.

If you’re loving pears as much as we are this season, you may also want to check out these beauties at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. I’m particularly excited about the cranberry version. Yum! And stay tuned, Mr. N will be our culinary guide for the next few weeks. He’s learning about land forms in school and is planning to pick an island country.

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50 comments on “Pear-ific

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  2. TasteFood says:

    Fantastic combination of ingredients!

  3. I have a few little pears just waiting for this recipe! First time I’ve seen one poached and presented with these ingredients. Delicious!

  4. Courtney says:

    Oh, those look heavenly! And we have some pears lying around…hmmm…

  5. Those look delicious!
    (Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.)

    I just added “mascarpone” and “pancetta” to next week’s grocery list.

  6. eftychia says:

    What a recipe! I never tasted anything similar. Thanks for sharing!

  7. ooh how yummy – what a fantastic idea! :-) Mandy

  8. Oh Kristy – I want these in a plate right now! This is my kind of sweet and savory combo, and your photos are stunners.

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks! Mine too. :) I also loved the crunch of the walnuts with this dish. It had all of the right stuff going for it. I love when that happens. (Especially when you’re winging it!) ;)

  9. Caroline says:

    Simply gorgeous! I love the grill marks on the pears. Mascarpone is so perfect with desserts…and then you throw pancetta in the mix?! Couldn’t think of anything more delicious. Those last two photos are great. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Caroline! I actually thought of you when we used the pancetta. :) I had a feeling you would like this one. I’ve actually started keeping a package of it on hand. It works so well with so many things. :)

  10. We just did a photoshoot of Holiday gift baskets…I have so much fruit left over! This recipe looks fabulous…I will try it this weekend for Sunday dinner! (I’ll probably sub goats cheese in stead of the mascarpone, only because I always have it at home! I buy the large logs at Costco and cut them into quarters and freeze – goats cheese freezes beautifully)

  11. This looks like a wonderful side dish. I love that the focus was on the fruit and everything else was secondary to compliment the sweetness of the pear. I wonder how apple cider would taste in poaching the pears. I love pancetta, especially as a topping to my salads.

    • Kristy says:

      Oh now there’s another great idea – apple cider! And pancetta is one of my favorites – I actually prefer it to bacon. Especially in pasta dishes. Mmmmm!

  12. Mary says:

    What a lovely elegant dish! Delicious flavors – lovely recipe – thanks!
    Mary x

  13. Kelly says:

    Wonderful! I tend to add pear to salads and baked goods but not so much as the starring feature. I’m happy to have a recipe that uses pear as the central focus and it looks so delicious. Love that you iced it :) (what a great idea) and you’ve just reminded me that I don’t use mascarpone nearly enough!

    • Kristy says:

      I tend to get a little thing of mascarpone, use it in a recipe and forget that it’s in the fridge until it goes bad. So lately I’ve been adding it to things randomly. It went great in a sweet potato soup I made recently too. ;)

  14. I could eat sweet mascarpone all by itself let alone with pears and pancetta. It sounds out of this world fantastic and so creative. 4 stars from me! It would go great on a salad or with some wild rice or something

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    Aww…this is a dish I would love! I like too the pairing of sweet and savory. I could enjoy this on a bed of mixed greens and definitely call it dinner!! Love your photos!

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    Love the mixing of sweet with savory. A great recipe, all ’round. If Mr N chooses the Bikini Atoll, will all of that week’s food be microwaved? ;)

  17. Love the photos! This dish look ridiculously delicious!

  18. Charles says:

    Beautiful pears – loving the grill lines on them! I wonder what they’d have been like if you’d used red wine? Could have given a beautiful rosy colour, although not sure if it would have looked so good in the end! Loving that filling too. Sounds so good! Can’t wait to hear what the next destination is. I have a guess, but I think I’ll be wrong!

    • Kristy says:

      We did pears in red wine a while back. I forget which country…it was early on. Holland maybe. Those were good too – and so pretty. I’ve been on a kick with cooking with white wine lately which is odd because if I had to pick my favorite wines they’d be red. :)

  19. rsmacaalay says:

    Pancetta and pears, this is something new for me. I know that would taste so good just imagine the contrasting sweet and salty taste it would definitely complement each other.

  20. I agree with Greg, I love that you included the Mascarpone cheese in with these pears. I don’t eat a lot of pears but I know my mom will love this.. and of course I will try it with her. I love cranberry season though :). Wonderful job Kristy..

    • Kristy says:

      I’m not huge on pears normally, but for some reason, this year I seem to keep working them into our menus. I just may have a pear/cranberry thing for you next month. :)

  21. Oh wow. I love that you have the sweet mascarpone and pancetta. Love it. Thanks for the shout out too!

  22. A_Boleyn says:

    I loved poached pears but the savoury mascarpone topping will take some thinking about. I thought the same thing when I saw the pears at Rufus’ blog. Coincidentally I poached a couple of quinces this past weekend in a spiced syrup inspired by a combination of Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide and Five Euro Food’s blogs. :)

    • Kristy says:

      Now that sounds fun! I still need to look for quinces. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one. :)

      • A_Boleyn says:

        You probably have seen them but they look quite similar to green apples though some varieties are more pear-like in shape. I think the quince jam is wonderful. It smells/tastes like a combination of apples, pears and roses. :)

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c8/Quince.jpg/431px-Quince.jpg

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Cydonia.jpg

        • Kristy says:

          Huh. Honestly I don’t know that I’ve seen them. Unless I have and thought they were pears or something. One of these days I’m going to go to the grocery store on a day I’m not in a hurry and just browse the produce section. ;)

          • A_Boleyn says:

            Sorry for giving you the impression that they’re commonly seen in grocery stores. They’re more likely to be found in ethnic grocery stores or city markets. I hadn’t noticed them either until last weekend when I spotted their distinctive shape at our local ‘city’ market and was reminded that Charles (Five Euro Food) had done several posts on them just that past week. Otherwise, my eyes would have just skimmed over them assuming they were apples. :)

            They’re seasonal fruits and I was surprised to find them locally though south-western Ontario is filled with pick your own fruits/veg stands.

            • Kristy says:

              We have a grocery store with a huge produce selection that we stop in when we are looking for hard-to-come-by ingredients. I’ll check in there. :)

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