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Poached Pear with Cajeta and Mascarpone


Dulce de Leche has quickly become this blog’s most popular post. The one-step recipe for caramel has generated more traffic, more comments, and more general excitement on this end of things than any other post. I was thrilled to read so many great comments offering alternative names for the treat, as well as several creative recipe ideas. I’m planning on trying the one with a graham cracker crust soon!


Here’s one more way to use all that caramel sitting in all of our fridges: top poached pears with it.

I generally poach pears in marsala or port. This time, I tried something different: someone brought a “young cabernet” to our house for dinner recently, and I had the rest of it in the fridge. Young cabernet is — obviously — not fully aged, so it’s rather sweet, though not as sweet as traditional dessert wines. (Can you tell that I’m no wine expert?) Anyway, I thought it made the perfect poaching liquid for my relatively unripe but very flavorful bosc pears.


The method is pretty simple: Slice pears lengthwise, place in a saucepan in a single layer, and pour liquid overtop (about 1 1/2 cups per pear). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for approximately 30 minutes, until pears are easily pierced with a knife. Stir every so often and check to make sure the liquid doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

After pears are soft, transfer them to a serving platter, turn up the heat slightly, and cook the liquid uncovered until it reduces enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Drizzle (ok, pour) over pears. Top with a healthy spoonful of cajeta (the caramel) and, if you have some on hand, a bit of mascarpone. If you don’t have mascarpone, try sour cream, whipped cream, or even yogurt.


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  • Jessica March 2, 2008,

    That looks great, I love the color of the pear!

  • White On Rice Couple March 3, 2008,

    Oh, your close up photography here is sooo delicious! It’s one of the most beautiful poached pear photographs I’ve seen so far!

  • Hillary March 4, 2008,

    I recently had a French poached pear dessert for the first time and it was one of the best I’ve ever had! Yours looks great too!