all about moderation

I know it's the time of year when everyone is trying really hard to watch what you eat. In fact, I'm sure most of you are still going strong on your new years resolutions to watch what you eat, how much you eat, and living an overall healthier life. Every year I find myself striving for similar goals and every year I succumb to my love of good eats. So this year I'm not swearing off sweets or fat or carbs or gluten. I'm going for balance and moderation. 

I discovered my love of poached pears last year. I had heard of them before, but never tried it or thought to try it. One night last winter I got a craving for pears. They're one of my favorite fruits. I just love the sweet, grainy texture and juicy freshness of it. So I ran to the store, only to find out there were no ripe pears in sight. I didn't let that stop me. I bought a few thinking I would wait a day or two for them to ripen up. By the time I got home, however, I could no longer wait. And then I remembered poached pears. I was sure that if I cooked them, it wouldn't matter, and it didn't! So I hit the internet and I stumbled upon all sorts of recipes. Being a huge red wine lover, I decided to try it that way. Instead of following a recipe, I decided to throw in some of my own ingredients and see how it turned out. I did, however, decide that I must top my recipe with Michael Chiarello's mascarpone filling. HOLY FOOD HEAVEN is that stuff good! 

So while it's not a completely "healthy" dessert (thanks to the mascarpone filling), it is a healthier option. All about moderation, right?! And lets be honest, it's a lot healthier than any of my usual dessert cravings (pretty much anything with chocolate and butter). Pears are fruit and fruit is healthy. Red wine is good for my heart, and well, mascarpone is dairy, which is good for my bones. So you see, I'm doing my body good! Slightly delusional, maybe - but you have to live a little! 

red wine poached pears + vanilla bean mascarpone filling
yields 4 servings


for the pears:
4 bartlett pears slightly under ripened
1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1½ c. water (or enough to cover pears in the pot)
½ vanilla bean
4 TBSP sugar

for the mascarpone filling:
adapted from michael chiarello

8 oz mascarpone - room temperature
½ vanilla bean
½ TBSP vanilla extract
3 TBSP half and half
2 TBSP powdered sugar

for the wine syrup (optional):
½ c. poaching liquid
3 tsp. granulated sugar

for the pears:
Peel, core, and cut pears in half lengthwise. In a pot large enough to fit the 8 pear halves, combine the wine, spices, sugar, pears and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until pears become fork tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the ripeness of the pears. 

for the mascarpone cream:
Meanwhile, combine mascarpone, vanilla, sugar, and half and half into a mixing bowl and beat on high until it becomes smooth and creamy. Add more half and half if you want it to be a little bit thinner. 

for the syrup:
reduce poaching liquid with sugar until it's halved in volume. basically, cook your mixture on medium-high for about 15 minutes until it thickens. drizzle over pears

Once pears are cooked, place a spoon full of the mascarpone cream on the pear and drizzle with the wine syrup. If you have leftover cream, save it for another batch of pears (trust me, you'll be making them again that week), or you could add it to your pancakes for a breakfast treat! Also, don't get rid of that poaching liquid. You can re-poach more pears in it or drink it as mulled wine another day! 

improv style:
there are a million ways to poach a pear. first of all, if you made the mulled wine and had leftovers, you could just poach the pears in that, adding enough water to cover the pears. you can use any kind of wine you prefer, zinfandel, chianti, even white wines or dessert wines... if you're trying to keep it booze free, think about poaching it in tea or fruit juice.

you can obviously leave out the mascarpone cream, or try making it with cream cheese or creme fraiche. if you don't have a vanilla bean you can leave it out and add a little more vanilla extract. you could even try adding a different flavor of extract here or perhaps some lemon zest would be really good, too. you could leave out the sauce all together and just do vanilla ice cream or sorbet. 

for the poaching liquid, aside from changing the liquid you cook it in, you can also play with the spice mixture. love cinnamon? add 1 - 2 more sticks... don't have star anise? that's ok, leave it out! you could try putting in a few black pepper corns or go a different direction and add some orange zest or slices. get creative and play with it. it's pretty hard to mess this recipe up!


  1. ooh, will have to try this! (Theresa, posting from my pup's account>)

  2. is this 1/2 tsp or tbs vanilla extract? thanks

    1. Tbsp, sorry I left that off. Kind of an important detail :)

  3. is this 1/2 tsp or tbs vanilla extract? thanks

    1. TBSP, I updated the recipe too so it should be fixed now :) Sorry for leaving that detail off!

  4. I'll post again after I see the reactions from guests!

  5. These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future..
    Ceramics for kitchen

  6. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future...
    קרמיקה למטבח

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Whatever you do, it makes me hungry. You do it well. I thank you for sharing the recipe.

    ทางเข้า sbo
    ทางเข้า sbobet
    แทงบอล sbobet

  10. Oh yes, yes, my friend is what I'm looking for. It weighs very interesting.

    sbobet mobile



  11. I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great. elektrische Pfeffermühlen oder auch electric Peppermills.

  12. Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic points , I likewise think this s a very wonderful website. kitchen cabinets manufacturer

  13. Wonderful dessert! Instead of the wine syrup I used a local honey drizzle. I also blended the wine. Madeira was an excellent addition. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Love your improv style!! Glad you enjoyed!

  14. 90minup ข่าวกีฬา ฟุตบอล ผลบอล วิเคราะห์บอล พรีเมียร์ลีก ฟุตบอลไทย

  15. This is really an amazing blog. Your blog is really good and your article has always good thank you for information

    โปรโมชั่นGclub ของทางทีมงานตอนนี้แจกฟรีโบนัส 50%
    เพียงแค่คุณสมัคร Gclub กับทางทีมงานของเราเพียงเท่านั้น
    สมัครสมาชิกที่นี่ >>> Gclub online

  16. หากคุณกำลังมองหาเว็บเดิมพันเพื่อหารายได้เข้ากระเป๋าแบบง่ายๆ ขอแนะนำ sbobet เกมการพนันที่สามารถทำให้นักเดิมพันร่วมลุ้นและสนุกไปพร้อมกันกับทางเว็บไซต์ได้ นอกจากนี้เว็บแทงบอลที่ดีที่สุดยังมีโปรโมชั่นดีๆ ให้ได้ลุ้นรับอยู่ตลอด 24 ชั่วโมง

  17. Thanks for writing such lovely Post.this post has helped me a lot and guided me to use that of information.

  18. CASA98 บริการ แทงบอลออนไลน์ แทงบอลเดี่ยว บอลเต็ง บอลสเต็ป
    สมัคร casa98

  19. I dont think that ive ever seen this man in my dream Its funny,we dream whomever we see in real life BY the way,interesting topic Just want to know who this man is actually? 

  20. CASA98 บริการ แทงบอลออนไลน์ แทงบอลเดี่ยว บอลเต็ง บอลสเต็ป
    สมัคร casa98

  21. เล่นง่ายได้เงินจริง สล็อตออนไลน์แสนสนุก


  22. เกมออนไลน์ สล็อตออนไลน์ joker123ฟรีเครดิต slot online คลิกเลย

  23. ดูหนังออนไลน์ฟรี สนุกง่ายๆ ไม่ต้องออกจากบ้านอีกมากมาย ระดับ 4K HD กับเรื่ิอง The Night Eats the World คืนเขมือบโลก (2018) [ บรรยายไทยแปล ]

  24. At first I saw that it was very appetizing. If you want to enjoy the fun, suggest to play บาคาร่า as well.

  25. Slotxo บริการ สล็อตออนไลน์ สล็อตxo แจกเครดิตฟรี พร้อม ทางเข้า slotxo เกมส์ใหม่กว่า 100 เกมส์ สมัคร slotxo ได้เลยตอนนี้ บริการ 24 ชั่วโมง.
    สล็อตxo บนมือถือ
    สมัคร slotxo
    สมัคร slotxo รับโบนัสฟรี

  26. พบกับหวยรูปแบบใหม่ที่สามารถแทงได้ทุกที่ ทุกเวลาด้วยตัวท่านเองผ่านมือถือของคุณเอง

    หวยออนไลน์ ของเราคุณจะสามารถแทงได้ตลอดไม่มีการอั้นเลขเหมือนแผงหวยททั่วไป

    ถ้านึกถึงหวยออนไลน์ต้อง Click1234 เปิดประสบการ์ณใหม่ๆกับการแทงหวยของคุณ