Poached Pears with Orange Butterscotch Sauce

  • Yield 8 servings

This elegant dessert is sure to impress your guests.


8 -- pears
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
Orange Butterscotch Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
-- Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons Cointreau
Masarpone Cream:
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Cointreau


  1. Core the pears, using a small knife or the small end of a melon ball cutter.  Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.  Cut a small slice off the bottom of each pear so they stand upright.  Rub each pear with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
  2. In a large 6-quart pot, heat the water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar melts.  Add the pears and bring the mixture to a boil.  You may have to weight down the pears with a lid from a small saucepan.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pears are just tender.  Remove the pears from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to cool. 
  3. For the sauce:  In a small saucepan while the pears are simmering, combine the butter, brown sugar, cream, orange zest and Cointreau.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and boil for 3 minutes without stirring.  Remove from the heat, strain through a sieve to remove the orange zest and cool. 
  4. For the cream:  In a small bowl, beat the cream, mascarpone cheese and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.  Stir in the Cointreau.
  5. To serve:  Place the pears on individual plates.  Spoon the Orange Butterscotch Sauce over the pears until you create a small puddle around the base of the pear.  Garnish with a dollop of Mascarpone Cream on the side.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Linda Mutschler’s Fast Track to Fine Dining (Favorite Recipes Press, 2009).





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