Pears Baked in Sangiovese with Mascarpone
8 Each Bosc Pears, ripe, preferably with stems
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Bottle Sangiovese, or other Red Wine of your choice
1 Each Peel of 1 Orange
2 Each Cinnamon Sticks
2 Each Star Anise
1 Cup Mascarpone
2-3 Tbsp Heavy Cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut a small portion off the bottom of each Pear so that it will stand upright. Using a corer or melon baller remove the core and seeds from the Pear through the cut portion on the bottom of the Pear. Place pears in a baking dish and pour wine over, making sure each Pear gets thoroughly wet with wine. Sprinkle the sugar equally over the tops of each Pear. Place Orange peel, Cinnamon and Star Anise in baking dish. Place in oven and bake until the sugar on the Pears starts to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Once sugar has caramelized baste Pears often. Check for doneness after about 40 minutes. Test for doneness using a skewer or fork; the bottoms of the Pears should be fork tender. Remove Pears from dish and place on a plate or platter. Pour off wine and spices into a heavy saucepan. Set saucepan over moderate heat and reduce liquid by half. Remove pan from heat and let liquid cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whip Mascarpone, adding Heavy Cream until Mascarpone is of a thick but pourable consistency.
To serve, place a dollop of the Mascarpone in the center of a plate and then a Pear on top. Pour a few tablespoons of the reduced wine over each pear and serve.