Nothing smells like Christmas as citrus, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. I know that these warming spices seem out of place when we celebrate Christmas in a warm country like South Africa, but there is something about this smell that warms my heart and makes me want to switch on fairy lights. Just making this delicious dessert is enough to put you in the festive spirit – my whole house smelled like Jingle Bells! And it is so good that I licked out the pot. I had to wrestle the spoon from one of my children! This recipe for Gühwein poached pears with spiced mascarpone cream comes from Nadia Lim, and it is absolutely delicious served cold. So get ready for a traditional Christmas dessert, served chilled as it should be on a hot Christmas day!
How to Make Glühwein Poached Pears With Spiced Mascarpone Cream
You will need
For the Pears:
- 750ml red wine
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice (with no pulp)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole star anise
- 10 whole cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (or seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
- 3 bay leaves
- peel and juice of 1 orange
- peel and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 firm pears
For the Spiced Mascarpone Cream
- 1 cup mascarpone (you can also use double cream or double cream yoghurt)
- 1 tsp mixed spice
Place all the ingredients for the poached pears, except for the pears, into a medium saucepan and heat.
While the liquid is heating, peel the pears with a knife or vegetable peeler and slice a bit off the bottom so that they can stand upright.
Place the pears on their sides in the liquid and bring to the boil. The liquid should just about cover the pears.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently, partially covered, for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the pears are tender and have absorbed the lovely colour and flavours of the wine and spices. Turn the pears once or twice while cooking to ensure that they colour evenly. You must also keep an eye on them to make sure that the liquid is not reducing too fast and allowing the pears to burn to the bottom of the pot.
Remove the pears from the liquid and allow to cool. Then turn the heat back up, reducing the liquid for 10 more minutes, until thick and syrupy.
Mix the spices with the mascarpone cream.
To serve, drizzle the syrup over the pears and served with the chilled spicy mascarpone.