Poached Pears with Italian Cream Cheese and a Mulled Wine Reduction

Fall is so here! I’m sure there are obvious signs of Fall all over the mainland. People wearing boots and scarves, leaves changing colors, the air is crisp and pears and apples are dropping from trees. But here in Hawaii the signs are a little more subtle.

My friend Tori is always the first to call Fall. She was Fall once for Halloween so that makes her an expert on the subject. She can see it in the afternoon light. It takes a keen eye to identify the end of summer by lighting alone. I think I can see it too, sometimes.

For me, Fall in Hawaii comes with the first North swell and my first whale sighting of the season. I’m not sure if I will see many humpback whales in Oahu but I did just see some HUGE waves!

This is my favorite time of year. I’m excited for the holidays and still optimistic that I will not get stressed out by them. This holiday season, for real, I will remember what is important and not get swept up into a consumerism whirlwind. Easy to say in early October…

These Pinot poached pears are filled with a mascarpone cream cheese and finished with a mulled wine reduction. You need to make these this holiday season!  This recipe is adapted from Michael Chiarello and is one of my favorites.



For the Pears:

4 firm barlett pears

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1/2 vanilla bean

1 cup sugar

1/2 bottle red wine

1/2 bottle water

For the Filling:

1 8oz package of mascarpone at room temp

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of cinammon

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 TB butter

1/4 cup candied nuts

1/4 cup blueberries


In a heavy pan that will fit all your pears, bring the wine and water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Since you are only using half a bottle of wine you might as well pour yourself a glass. To make this recipe you don’t need a great bottle of wine, but defiantly use wine you would drink. Your sauce will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to the pot. Be sure to split that vanilla bean down the middle scraping out all the goodness.

This recipe doubles just as easy. While you could share, I would make one pear per person. With a vegetable peeler, peel your pears leaving the stems intact.

Add to the pot and set a timer for about 20 minutes.

The amount of time the pears poach for will depend on how firm they are to start. You want pears that are 1-2 days away from eating. If they are soft, you will end up with mushy pears and lots of brown spots. After 20 minutes, check to see if they are tender with a knife. If not, let them simmer for longer. Once they are ready, gently remove them from the pot and let them cool. Once they are cool you can remove the core with an apple corer. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to fill and serve them. Also, keep the stems as a garnish. So cute!

In a kitchen aid fitted with a wire whip, wisk together the mascarpone, heavy cream, cinnamon and powdered sugar. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough for you. You could also use regular cream cheese instead of mascarpone. Put the cream cheese filling in a pastry bag. If you don’t have a pastry bag use a ziplock freezer bag and cut one of the corners.

This is the best part. This is the part that makes your house smell like the holidays, family, childhood memories and all things good. It’s what potpourri strives to be. Turn up the heat and start to reduce your mulled wine. Take out the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and vanilla bean. You want to reduce it until it becomes syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. You will know you are close when it starts to get very bubbly. Take it off the heat and leave it be until you are ready to serve. Right before serving, warm up the sauce and wisk in one TB of butter. This makes the sauce just a little silkier and shinier.

Pipe the filling into the cored pears.

Put the stems back on and drizzle with the mulled wine reduction. Garnish with candied nuts and blueberries.

Be liberal,


About Maui Flour Child

Aloha, I'm Maui Flour Child. I love cooking for my family & friends using fresh, local ingredients. Live life with aloha in your heart and flour in your hair! -Angela

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