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Brachetto Poached Pear

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INGREDIENTS:

Four large fresh pears

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 750ml bottle of Banfi-Rosa Regale-Brachetto d'Acqui

3 cups of frozen triple berry mix

1 cup of granulated sugar

½ cup of powdered confectioners sugar

2 pints of heavy whipping cream

½ pint of mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoon of cornstarch

Four sprigs of fresh mint

PREPARATION:

Triple Berry Sauce-Place 3 cups of frozen berries and one cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add ½ cup of granulated sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and separate 1½ cups of drained fruit from the mixture. 

Place the remaining mixture, including the juice, in a strainer over a bowl and use a spatula to macerate the fruit through the strainer.  Add a small amount of cornstarch to cool water & mix until smooth.  Add the cornstarch mixture slowly to the berry sauce until it begins to thicken to a light syrup consistency.  Use only as much cornstarch as needed and add it slowly, giving time for the sauce to reach the correct consistency.

Poaching the Pears-Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from each pear, leaving the stem intact.  Cut the bottom off of the pear to give it a flat base so it will stand upright.  Pour the brachetto wine into a medium sauce pan and add the whole peppercorns and vanilla extract.  Place the pears in the pan, making sure that they are covered almost to the top.  Add ½ cup of the prepared berry sauce.  Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce heat to a medium simmer.  Poach the pears for 20 minutes or until soft-depending on the ripeness of the uncooked pears.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pears to marinade in the poaching liquid until cool.  Discard the poaching liquid when finished.

Mascarpone Cream-Whip the heavy whipping cream with ½ cup of confectioner's sugar.  When the cream is stiff, add the mascarpone cheese and ½ cup of granulated sugar.

Mix until the two ingredients are completely blended.

Filling the Pears-Use a sharp pearing knife to cut up into the pear.  The cavity should be approx. ¾ of the width of the pear.  Remove the bottom section and trim off the last ½ inch to re-insert as a plug when the pear is filled.  Use a melon baller to remove the core of the pear, creating a cavity to add the filling.  Use a spoon or piping bag to fill ½ of the cavity with mascarpone cream and fill the remainder with the berry mixture you have set aside, leaving just enough room to replace the plug you had cut out of the bottom section of the pear. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serving the Pears-Pour the berry sauce on the plate.  Place a pear in the sauce.  Spoon or pipe a mound of the mascarpone cream on the palte and cover with the remaining berry mix or fresh berries if you prefer.

Cut a small slit next to the stem of each pear and insert the sprig of fresh mint as a garmish.

Serve with a knife & fork.  

(You may also split the pears, removing the cores, and top each pear half with the mascarpone cream & berry mixture instead of stuffing them.  Other poaching bases are apple cider, port wine, the berry sauce-thinned with water & without the brachetto or a simple syrup flavored with vanilla.

Serves 4

Source: Osage Restaurant - Gilcrease Museum

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