Roasted Pears with Espresso Mascarpone Cream

Photo by: Amy (Minimally Invasive)

by Amy (Minimally Invasive)

over 2 years ago

feastathome's Testing Notes:

Minimally Invasive's gluten-free take on tiramisu is inspired. The espresso cream is sumptuous without being too heavy or sweet and the pears are the perfect vehicle to enjoy with it. Honestly, I wanted to slurp this off the plate, pears and all. You could use different kinds of pears to add even more dimension to the dish (not that it needs it). The perfect dessert for an elegant dinner, you'll never miss the ladyfingers.

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.)

Serves 4

Roasted Pears:

  • 4 pears, any variety (or 8 Seckel pears)
  • 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 cup sugar, or up to 1/3 cup if you prefer a sweeter cream
  • 3 tablespoons espresso, chilled
  • cocoa powder, for finishing
  • toasted 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.

Nutrition Info:


  • 428 calories
  • 30g total fat
  • 19g saturated fat
  • 103mg cholesterol
  • 33mg sodium
  • 42g carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 26g sugar)
  • 3g protein
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