The New Year brings new resolutions about food for most of us. For me, it usually means trying to find healthier desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth. Inspired by poached pears served at a dinner party I attended New Year’s Eve, I came up with this Poached Pears with Pomegranate-Mascarpone Sauce version to share with you for a healthy 2013. A delicious and decidedly more nutritious alternative to my Bluebell ice cream habit, these poached pears are so simple to make and have very few calories, not much fat, and lots of dietary fiber. You could top them with vanilla ice cream, but they are yummy enough to stand alone on sweetness.
Instead of Bartlett pears, you can use other varieties known to hold up through the cooking process such as Bosc or Anjou. Remember to choose pears that aren’t super ripe, you want them to be fairly firm so that they don’t fall apart in the pan. While some people peel the pears for aesthetics, I prefer to keep it on in order to retain the naturally high levels of chlorogenic acid found in the skin (a phytonutrient that can help control blood glucose levels). By the way, in the rare chance you have leftovers; they are great the next day sliced up in a salad.
Poached Pears with Pomegranate-Mascarpone Sauce Recipe
- 3 semi-firm Bartlett pears
- 2 cups all-natural pomegranate juice (not pomegranate cocktail)
- 1 teaspoon Stevia
- Pinch ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- Garnish: fresh mint leaves
Slice pears in half lengthwise. In medium pot, bring juice to a light simmer. Stir in Stevia and spices.
Gently lower each pear into juice, flat-side down. Reduce heat to med-low and let pears cook for approximately 10 to15 minutes, or until softened. Turn several times during the process for even cooking.
Remove pot from stovetop and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove pears from juice. Leave 1 cup of juice in the pot, add mascarpone cheese. Return to stove and warm over low heat, stirring until well-combined. Pour sauce over pears and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, garnish with fresh mint.