Buttery Poached Pears with Whipped Mascarpone
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 star anise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced into six slices each
- 4 ounces mascarpone
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Crisp almond cookies, for serving (optional)
1. In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid combine the apple cider, vermouth, butter, anise, and salt. Bring to a simmer.
2. Add pears, reduce the heat, and simmer covered until pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 10-12 minutes.
3. Whip heavy cream until it makes soft peaks. Add mascarpone and honey and whip again until light and fluffy and just holding stiff peaks. Do not overmix.
4. Divide pears and poaching liquid between four bowls and serve topped with mascarpone cream and almond cookies, if using.