Roasted Pears with Espresso Mascarpone Cream

September 12, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Despite (or maybe because of) my gluten-free diet, I had a mean craving for tiramisu one day. Instead of trying to make something that was almost, but not exactly unlike it with GF ladyfingers, I instead created something inspired by the original. I've made this with four varieties of pears (all wonderful), and did a version with amaretto instead of espresso. It's a dessert that's nearly impossible to mess up, honestly, so play around and make it your own! (The roasted pears were adapted from Smitten Kitchen.) —Minimally Invasive

What You'll Need
  • Roasted Pears
  • 4 pears, any variety (or 8 pears if you use Seckel)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Espresso Mascarpone Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4-1/3 cups sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons espresso, chilled
  • cocoa powder, for finishing
  • ground almonds, for finishing (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel pears if you like (not really necessary if you buy organic), halve them lengthwise and core. Place cut side up in a roasting pan and sprinkle with lemon juice. Sprinkle sugar evenly over pear halves and dot with butter. Pour water into the roasting pan and bake pears for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Flip pears over and bake an additional 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Pears are ready when a knife slips easily into the thickest part. (Seckel pears may take less time. Start checking for done-ness around the 40-minute mark.) Allow pears to cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour whipping cream into a small bowl. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream, stirring to evenly distribute. Add bean to cream. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, along with the bowl and beater of an electric stand mixer.
  3. Just before serving, pour cream through a fine mesh strainer into the chilled mixing bowl. Add mascarpone and espresso, and beat on medium speed until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and with mixer running, sprinkle in sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
  4. Top a pear half with a dollop of mascarpone cream. Add one or both of the finishing ingredients to taste.
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14 Reviews

Monica March 14, 2017
so good! I actually used labneh (strained greek yogurt) instead of cream & mascarpone to make it a bit healthier & agave instead of sugar. It was perfect for breakfast during a winter blizzard =)
Minimally I. March 14, 2017
That sounds like a delicious substitute! I'll have to try that the next time I make this. Stay warm!
Yessica March 17, 2016
Can the pears be made in advanced and just dressed when ready to serve? I only have 1 oven...sigh...for now ;)
Vivian January 23, 2014
I made it and it is delicious. Delicate taste. I used brown sugar instead and it worked just fine. Easy and classy to serve gests!
Minimally I. January 24, 2014
Brown sugar sounds like a delicious substitute; I'll give it a try next time I make this. Thanks for letting me know!
lizund March 2, 2013
This was easy and great!
Pamplemousse November 17, 2011
Beautiful-classy recipe. Could I use strong brewed coffee if espresso isn't a possibility?
Minimally I. November 17, 2011
Absolutely! I've made it with coffee when I didn't feel like running out for espresso.
MegB September 27, 2011
Tried this out with some fresh-picked pears... the pears were not too soft, not too hard after roasting, and the whipped cream is heavenly! Thank you for the recipe.
Minimally I. September 27, 2011
So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know!
cookinginvictoria September 13, 2011
Yum, you had me at espresso and marscapone. Looks and sounds heavenly!
ashleychasesdinner September 12, 2011
I can't wait to try! Beautiful picture too!
EmilyC September 12, 2011
Love this!
Bevi September 12, 2011
This sounds delicious!