Ingredients: • 1 1/4 cups Bunratty Mead
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
• Zest of 1 orange, cut into strips
• 6 firm Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled, stems intact
• 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
• 4 ounces Cashel Blue cheese, crumbles
Pears are often poached in red wine or port, which adds both color and flavor, but I find them even sweeter when the poaching liquid is made with Bunratty Mead. The silky cheese accompaniment - a blend of Irish blue cheese and Italian mascarpone, a soft, triple-cream cheese - is a luxurious addition.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the mead, sugar, water, cinnamon
sticks, and orange zest to a boil. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sugar
dissolves and the mixture is syrupy. Reduce the heat to low, add the pears,
and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Turn
the pears with tongs 2 or 3 times during cooking. Remove from the heat and let
the pears let cool in the poaching liquid.
Strain the liquid.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and blue cheese until blended.
To serve, stand a pear in the center of each of 6 dessert plates, spoon some
syrup over them, and place a dollop of the cheese mixture next to each.