In Italy, dessert is frequently fresh fruit with a bit of mascarpone cheese, some nuts and a few cookies on the side. This is my take on that tradition.
This dessert is super easy and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. (You don’t even peel the pears.) Sliced pears are topped with blueberries (you can also use blackberries), cinnamon, ginger nibs and mascarpone cheese and a bit of brown sugar.
This is not a slowly baked compote. It’s ready when the cheese is bubbly and the brown sugar starts to caramelize.
It’s also a recipe that scales up or down easily. I allow 1 pear per person and adjust the berries and cheese in the same ratio.
If you can slice a pear, you can master this recipe. The warm pears, the hint of cinnamon, the surprise ginger nibs, and the creamy mascarpone make for a scrumptious finish for a sit-in-the-kitchen dinner.
GRATIN OF PEARS, BLUEBERRIES AND MASCARPONE CHEESE
EVENT: Weeknight Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner
SERVES: 4 People
4 ripe pears (I prefer red or comice)
8 oz blueberries (frozen are okay) *
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts *
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped crystalized fresh ginger or ginger nibs
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Flameproof baking dish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Slice the pears, leaving the skin on. Place in baking dish.
3. Sprinkle with the berries, walnuts and ginger nibs.
4. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
5. Drop spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese over the pears.
6. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
7. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until the mascarpone is bubbly and sugar starts to caramelize.
* A NOTE: I buy the fresh or frozen blueberries, as well as walnuts, at Costco.