Savory Champagne Poached Pears

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Savory Champagne Poached Pears with Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese and Candied Pecans
Champagne Poached Pears with Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese

Poached pears are a traditional and elegant dessert, and pears and blue cheese are a classic pairing. So why not combine the two into a semi-sweet but savory creation that is a perfect fall and winter side dish or appetizer! We love pears, and we love poaching them in a dessert-type application. But this really takes the poached pear to a different place. The blue cheese and mascarpone with candied pecans bring a savory and sweet flavor to the pear and is a perfect pairing with a warm drink on a cold night.

What Types of Pears are Best for Poached Pears

Poached pears make an impressive dessert if done well, and we want an equally as impressive appetizer or side dish with this recipe. This is especially important for a holiday meal. To accomplish this, picking the perfect type of pears for the job is important.

For this recipe we chose to use Bosc pears because they hold their shape better than other varieties while cooking. Bosc pears have a great texture and flavor so they work really well here and are generally easy to find this time of the year in grocery stores. But we love using Comice pears or Bartlett pears as well. This may come down to personal preference, so use your favorite pears.

Champagne Poaching Liquid

Poaching pears in dry champagne or sparkling wine, orange flavors and a little rosemary really enhances the flavor of the pear and natural sweetness of the fruit. It also keeps the natural color of the peeled, creamy pear, unlike traditional red wine poached pear recipes.

Those components are also responsible for creating a delicious sauce to drizzle over the dish when serving. The sauce is citrusy and has the rosemary flavor making it perfect for a savory application like this one!

Savory Champagne Poached Pears
Savory Champagne Poached Pears

Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese

Since pears and blue cheese are a match made in heaven, we wanted to capitalize on this love affair for our savory poached pear dish. Check out our Grilled Romaine and Pear Steakhouse Salad or another application of this flavor profile.

The goal here was to create a savory cream for the pear to sit atop that would highlight the other flavors in the dish.

Mascarpone is a creamy Italian cheese that is spreadable and great in a variety of sweet and savory applications. When combined with the blue cheese, you get a beautiful whipped spread! You will want to spread this on toast or a bagel, so keep any extra!

As for the blue cheese, choose your favorite one that has the right amount of salt and tangy funk that works with the mascarpone and the rest of the dish. We have used gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort, and cambozola for this recipe and love them all. The softer the cheese is, the easier it will be to whip. If you choose a harder blue cheese, you may need extra cream to give it a more creamy texture.

Candied Pecans and Orange Slices 

Pecans and walnuts both naturally couple with pears, so either one will work in this dish. However, pecans tend to have a slightly sweeter, buttery, and less bitter taste, which works perfectly in this dish, so we would recommend pecans here.

A candied orange slice is a beautiful garnish here as well and highlights the orange juice and zest in the sauce.

If you need a recipe for candied pecans, check out THIS post!

Looking for a hot drink to pair with this recipe?

A hot cocktail is a great complement to this recipe! Check out our Night Owl Empress Ginger Hot Toddy!

Enjoy!

We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Savory Champagne Poached Pears! If you give it a try and like it, click the heart at the top of the post, leave us a 5 star rating and comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Savory Champagne Poached Pears with Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese and Candied Pecans
Savory Champagne Poached Pears

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Savory Champagne Poached Pears

Course: Appetizers, SidesCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Pears
  • 4 medium ripe whole pears (bosc is what we used)

  • 2 -3 cups dry champagne or sparkling wine

  • 3 Tbsp orange liqueur

  • Juice and zest of 1 orange

  • 1 sprig (2”) rosemary

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • For the Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese Cream
  • 4 oz Blue Cheese

  • 8 oz Mascarpone

  • 6 tbsp heavy cream

  • Garnish
  • Candied Pecans

  • Candied Orange Slice

  • Small Spring of rosemary

Directions

  • Poach the Pears
  • Peel pears and core them from the bottom of the pears. You can use an apple corer or paring knife to remove the core/seeds. Place the pears in a pot just large enough to hold them. Add the remaining ingredients, using just enough champagne to submerge the pears.
  • Over medium heat, bring the pot to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer the liquid. Depending on the ripeness of the pears, this should take around 20 minutes. The pears should be soft throughout when ready (test with a sharp skewer for resistance). When the pears are done, carefully remove them from the pot and set aside.
  • Strain the liquid and discard the solids. Wipe the pot down and return the liquid to the pot and reduce over medium heat until the liquid has thickened somewhat and is about 20-30% of the volume after you strained the liquid. This should take around 20 minutes.
  • Prepare the Whipped Mascarpone Blue Cheese
  • In a food processor, add the mascarpone and blue cheese and pulse to combine. Begin adding your heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to process stopping to scrape the sides as needed. The mixture should begin to look creamy and smooth, but still thick. If your blue cheese was on the harder end of the spectrum, continue adding more cream 1 tbsp at a time until you reach a smooth creamy texture.
  • Serve
  • Spread the cream on a plate and place the pear upright in the center. Drizzle with the sauce and add pecans, a candied orange slice and rosemary sprig.

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