1 1/4 cups Mead
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zest cut into strips
6 Bosc pears, peeled, and cored*,stems intact
4 ounces macarpone cheese, optional
4 ounces Cashel blue cheese, optional
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the mead, sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and orange zest to a boil. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is syrupy. Reduce the heat to low, add the pears,and simmer covered, for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Turn the pears 2 or 3 times during cooking. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid (may be stored in the refrigerator at this point for up to 2 days). Strain the liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered untill poaching liquid is thick and syrupy.
Slice each pear lengthwise almost all the way through and fan out onto a dessert plate. Drizzle thickened syrup over each pear. Serve with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream and ginger cookies. As an alternative garnish, whisk together the mascarpone and blue cheese until blended in a small bowl and add a scoop alongside the pear.
|Pears cooling in the poaching liquid|