(cooking time: 2 hours; 4 servings)
For the pears:
- 4 medium-sized pears of any type (or 8 small ones)
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Water – 2 tbsp
- Unsalted batter – 2 tbsp
For the mascarpone cream:
- Whipping cream – 1 cup
- 1 vanilla bean
- Mascarpone – 1 cup
- Sugar – ¼ - 1/3 cup
- Espresso – 2-3 tbsp, chilled
- Cocoa powder
- Ground almonds, toasted
- Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas Mark 5.
- Peel the pears or not (if you’re sure they’re organic), cut them into halves and core.
- Take a roasting dish and put the pears in it (cut side up), sprinkle them with lemon juice and sugar. Place small dots of butter all over the fruit pieces.
- Add water to the dish and bake the fruit pieces for half an hour, then turn them over and bake for 30 more mins. Check if the fruit is ready sticking a knife into it – if it slips easily into its thickest part it’s time to take the dish out of the oven.
- Let the pears cool to room temperature.
- Take a medium-sized bowl and put the whipping cream in it.
- Cut the vanilla beam in halves and scrape its seeds into the whipping cream. Stir the mixture to make it homogeneous.
- Put the bean in the cream, cover the bowl and put in into a fridge for at least an hour.
- Pour the cream through a mesh strainer into a bowl, add mascarpone and espresso and beat the mixture on medium speed until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Keep beating on medium-high speed and add the sugar during the process. Continue until soft peaks are formed.
- Put a dollop of mascarpone cream on top of each pear half. Add cocoa powder or ground almonds (or both of the ingredients) to taste.
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