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Baked Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone

Baked pears are a rustic but elegant dessert. If using Bosc pears, buy only ripe ones; Anjou, which are juicier, can still be slightly firm. Avoid enamel baking dishes, as they cause the syrup to burn.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Earl Carter

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2002

Ingredients

  • 4 Anjou or Bosc pears
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 sprigs thyme (optional)
  • Vanilla Mascarpone
  • Store-bought biscotti

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice off bottom end of each pear just enough so that it will stand upright. Using a melon baller or small spoon, remove seeds from the bottom. Peel upper half, leaving stem intact, and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub butter over peeled part of each pear, and arrange pears in a small baking dish (about 7 by 11 inches) so they are standing. Sprinkle with the sugar.

  2. Pour wine into baking dish; add thyme sprigs, if using. Bake until pears are soft when pierced with a paring knife and well browned, about 45 minutes; using a small spoon, baste pears occasionally with the wine, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent liquid from evaporating. Remove from oven.

  3. To serve, spoon some of the pan juices into each serving dish, and place a pear on top. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone and several biscotti on the side.

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