Any delicate red wine will work for this recipe, but merlot or cabernet are best. Avoid heavy shiraz. This dessert will definitely prove to be a crowd-pleaser!
750 ml red wine
250 g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 dried bay leaf
4 firm pears, peeled
200 g mascarpone
80 g amaretti biscuits, crumbled
¼ cup icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest 2 oranges
- Combine wine, sugar, vanilla bean and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Heat over a high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low
- Meanwhile, use a melon baller to remove pear cores starting from the base and discard. Put pears in the wine mixture and add water to just cover them. Place a disc of baking paper on top and use a small plate to weight pears down to keep them immersed.
- Simmer pears gently for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from heat and cool pears in the liquid.
- Remove pears from liquid. Set aside. Return wine syrup to a medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 20–25 minutes, until liquid has reduced and become syrupy.
- Put mascarpone, amaretti, icing sugar and orange zest in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Halve pears lengthways and fill holes with amaretti mixture.
- Serve pears drizzled with red wine syrup.