Poached Pears in a Chocolate Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

What could be more elegant during the holiday season than a chocolate, almond & pistachio tart filled with a creamy, dreamy mascarpone filling & then topped with Malbec poached pears & the most heavenly Malbec molasses?  

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I always come to this little space with the intentions of bringing you new and tasty creations regularly.  But life continues to throw obstacles my way and these intentions get pushed to the wayside.   I could apologize for this and promise that I will get better, but in the end I don’t want to force what was not meant to be.  Instead, I will re-adjust my goals and try my best to bring you interesting recipes that are paired with entertaining stories and pretty photos.  This may mean that you see a new post weekly, biweekly or monthly. . .but I can’t make any promises, and I refuse to compromise on the quality of this space for the sake of quantity.  I hope you do understand.

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

As for this absence. . .well I was working on a cake for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This was going to be one of my more special cakes because I was making it in honor of our beloved little kitty we lost this March to a long and heroic battle with breast cancer.Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Given the emotional relevance, the pressure to deliver a momentous cake was intense.

I had the design of this cake completely drawn out, incorporating some of her favorite flavors – chocolate & coffee.  I know, it’s weird.   And before you get ready to lecture me that this is not food fit for a kitty, know that we did not intentionally give her these things.  We merely discovered by accident that she had a passion for them, and if we didn’t guard them with our lives, she would inhale them faster than you could blink an eye.

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

But, even though I had the design completely planned out, I just couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to bring it to life.  It seemed that every time I made plans to start bringing this cake to reality, my heart would put an abrupt stop to it.  The wounds from the loss of this little sweetie were still too raw and I found myself practicing avoidance so that I would not have to face the reality of her death.

It was also hard because this is the time of year that her health took a turn for the worse.  Last November, when I was on a penguin research project in Patagonia, the cancer decided it was time to consume her little body with an even more fierce vengeance, transforming her once chubby frame into the slender body she had not seen since kitten hood .  Of course, we had every hope that this was only a temporary setback and once her chemotherapy treatments were over, she would be back to her squishy, roly poly self.  But such was not meant to be.

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

I finally managed to set my heartbreak aside.   I mean, this was an important cake.  It was not meant to be something that caused great anxiety, but rather was meant to celebrate her life and all the love that she provided to everyone she met.  But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had a couple of  additional obstacles with this cake that led to further delays.  Okay. . .I flat out broke a couple of the layers and had to remake them.

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Given all these delays, I decided that it was probably best to save this cake for the anniversary of her death.   So, I carefully wrapped the layers and tucked them away into the freezer.  My plans now are to bring you this very special cake in March.

In the meantime, I made you this elegant chocolate, almond, pistachio tart stuffed with a creamy mascarpone filling which I then topped with Malbec Poached Pears and a lovely Malbec Molasses.  The Malbec Molasses alone is so heavenly that I dare say you will be looking for excuses to drizzle it on just about anything and everything that comes your way.  But that’s okay.  It will do nothing but elevate your oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, holiday pork, apple pies, bubble baths. . .whatever you chose.  Okay, maybe it is a bit too sticky for a bath, but you get the point.

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

I tend to like my tart crusts more on the nutty side so when I was dreaming up this Poached Pears Tart, I wanted to include two different kinds of nuts.  Almonds are my all time favorite, so it was a no brainer to include them.  I thought pistachios would also lend a unique and unexpected flavor, but you can use just about any nut that tickles your fancy.  Whatever nut you chose for this Poached Pears Tart, the end result will be a delicate crust that is very cookie-like in taste and texture.  And just between you and I. . . I could easily scarf down the crust sans pears.

But we can’t leave the crust naked, now can we?  So, I added a cloud of mascarpone on this Poached Pears Tart.  It really provides a nice light and creamy texture, making this Poached Pears tart all the more dreamy.  And to brighten it up a tad, I  added in a sprinkling of lemon zest.

http://www.theroadtohoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Poached-Pears-in-a-Chocolate-and-Mascarpone-Nutty-Tart-with-Malbec-Molasses-FB-1-of-1.jpg

As for the stars of the shows, well, this teensy weensy Bosc pears are poached in the most heavenly Malbec syrup ever to grace the planet.  I used a fairly inexpensive, easily accessible Malbec wine (this is not a sponsored post, but I used this wine in case you want to duplicate this tart exactly), but really, you could use just about any dry red wine that you pleased.  And to give it even more dimension, I infused the syrup with some vanilla, cinnamon,  and orange zest.

And last, but certainly not least, once these poached pears were all dressed up in their rich and elegant red glory, I boiled the syrup down until it was transformed into the most divine molasses.  I drizzled some on top of this tart, but fortunately I have enough left that I will continue to drizzle this little dose of  heaven onto my oatmeal and yogurt long into the holidays.

I don’t know what is on your holiday baking list, but I strongly suggest that you make room for this beauty as it tastes as heavenly as it looks and will surely impress all your guests.

XOXO –

Lynn

P.S.  Awwww! Leaving so soon? Well, I’m going to miss you.  But, if you must leave, I would love for you to take a few more seconds and join The Road to Honey family.  All you need to do is enter your email address in the box in the upper right hand corner on this site. This will guarantee that you are one of the firsts to see any new posts from the Road to Honey.  Oh. . .and you can rest assured I will never, ever share your e-mail with anyone else – pinky swear.

You can also get sneak peeks, and more behind the scenes action, by following me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ or Snapchat (theroadtohoney).

 

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

Yield: 6

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

What could be more elegant during the holiday season than a chocolate, almond & pistachio tart filled with a creamy, dreamy mascarpone filling & then topped with Malbec poached pears & the most heavenly Malbec molasses?

Ingredients

    For the Chocolate Nutty Crust:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • For the Red Wine Poached Pears:
  • 3 cups of Merlot (about 1 bottle of wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • Zest from one orange
  • 6 small Bosc Pears
  • Chopped pistachios, for topping the tart (optional)
  • For the Marscapone Filling:
  • 8 ounces (~1 cup mascarpone)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

    For the Chocolate Nutty Crust:
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients (flour through sea salt) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter & sugar on medium speed until it's light & fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  3. Turn the mixer off & add the flour mixture to the butter.
  4. Turn the mixer on low & mix until just combined. Take care not to overmix.
  5. Roll the dough out into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle between two pieces of parchment paper.
  6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerate & allow it to warm enough so that it can be pressed into the bottom & sides of a 14 x 4 inch tart pan. If you are not using a nonstick pan, be sure to butter the pan before pressing the dough into it.
  9. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, place it back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  10. Trim excess dough & use these scraps to fill in any spots & to thicken up any of the edges that need it.
  11. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.
  12. Place the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.
  13. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is firm to the touch.
  15. If the crust is puffy, press it down with the back of a spoon while the crust is still hot.
  16. Transfer the pan to a wire rack & allow it to cool completely.
  17. For the Red Wine Poached Pears
  18. Cut a round of parchment paper 1/2" larger than the diameter of a lidded saucepan. Your saucepan should be just large enough to hold the pears. Set aside.
  19. Combine the wine, water & sugar in the pot.
  20. Split the vanilla bean & scrape the seeds into the poaching liquid.
  21. Add the next 5 ingredients (vanilla pod through orange zest).
  22. Peel the pears & place them, stem ups, into the poaching liquid.
  23. Bring liquid so that it is just below a simmer, stirring gently to melt the sugar.
  24. Place the parchment paper on top of the pears & liquid.
  25. Place a small heatproof plate on top to keep the pears submerged.
  26. Simmer until the pears are tender but still somewhat firm (approximately 15-20 minutes, but this will vary depending on the size & ripeness of your pears).
  27. Remove the pan from the heat & allow the pears to cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
  28. Cover with plastic wrap & allow the pears to sit in the refrigerator overnight & up to 3 days.
  29. Before serving, strain the poaching liquid into a saucepan.
  30. Simmer until the poaching liquid is reduced by half (about 40 minutes). You want a syrup-like consistency.
  31. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. I heat the liquid in the microwave for 10 seconds to make it easier to drizzle on the tart. Note: You will have more molasses than you need but this molasses taste great on oatmeal, ice cream, yogurt etc.
  32. For the Ricotta Filling:
  33. Place the mascarpone, confectioners sugar, zest, vanilla, & a pinch of salt in a medium sized bowl. Mix until combined.
  34. Spoon the filling into the Nutty Chocolate Tart Shell.
  35. To Assemble the Tart:
  36. Spoon the mascarpone filling in the tart shell.
  37. Carefully lay the poached pears on top of the mascarpone. If you want, you can core the pears, but I really saw no need to do so with my pears.
  38. Heat the Malbec molasses up in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or until it is at consistency that it is easy to drizzle across the pears.
  39. Drizzle the desired amount of molasses over the top of the pears.
  40. Top with chopped pistachios.
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Chocolate Nutty Crust slightly adapted from the Gjelina cookbook (See here and here)

Poached Pears in a Chocolate, and Mascarpone Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

14 thoughts on “Poached Pears in a Chocolate Nutty Tart with Malbec Molasses

  • November 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm
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    This tart is incredible! The photography is so gorgeous and I am just drooling looking at the photos. Worth the wait!

    Reply
    • November 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm
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      Ha! Ha! Apologies for getting you so excited about the tart Lucy. I was frantically trying to finish the post this morning because I knew you were anxiously awaiting it. But trust me. . .it was worth the wait because every component in this tart is sooooooo good.

      Reply
  • November 23, 2016 at 7:44 pm
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    Wow! I’ve been dying to see this masterpiece Lynn! And it was totally worth the wait! Once again, you have totally outdone yourself! The crust, the mascarpone filling, the Malbec molasses over those juicy pears. just amazing! Your photos are absolutely beautiful. I totally understand about the other cake you wanted to share. I will look forward to it in March. As the saying goes…good things come to those who wait! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! XO

    Reply
  • November 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm
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    This looks absolutely amazing! Beautiful pictures! So sorry about your kitty 🙁 One of my cats unexpectedly passed away a few years ago, I feel your heartache. My cat was only three, and it took me forever to be okay with it. Just have a special kind of love for animals. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • November 27, 2016 at 9:22 am
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      Many thanks for your kind words Emily. The furry kiddos truly do become important members our families. I hope that you had a very nice Thanksgiving as well. The hubby is now back from China so we had a little feast. . .just the two of us. 😉

      Reply
  • November 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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    A beautiful and touching post , so sorry about your kitty , it is heart wrenching when we lose them . You know from IG I love your photography, but they look even better here 🙂

    Reply
    • November 27, 2016 at 9:29 am
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      It truly is Lynn, and our little Asia is what they call a “once in a lifetime pet”. The Mr. and I are just thankful we had the financial means to provide her with the best medical care we could which, in the end, extended her life 3 more happy years. And we are incredibly comforted knowing that she truly loved life up until the very end. Also, many thanks on the photography compliments. I have been working hard on developing the craft. I still have tons of learning and developing to do but have been happy with the progress I have made to date. It can be quite challenging to develop your style. . .but practice, practice, practice. 😉

      Reply
  • November 25, 2016 at 10:57 am
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    This tart is beautiful, I am so sorry about your cat. We have a dog and I’d be heartbroken if anything happened to him.

    Take care of yourself and have a good weekend. x

    Reply
  • November 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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    I am so sorry about your sweet kitty. I know how important pets are and the incredible bonds we create with them. Sending you lots of warm, healing vibes.

    Now… You have completely outdone yourself with this tart! It is absolutely knock-out gorgeous and I’m sure tastes even better.

    Reply
  • December 1, 2016 at 10:19 am
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    My heart is breaking for you and sweet Kitty. Thoughts of my dear Claire and Kittle came flooding back with their medical care and struggle with Kidney disease. Oh Lynn.. hugs and love to you as you reflect and celebrate her spirit, love and gifts. She will always be in your heart. Your tart is sublime and absolutely gorgeous. Poached pears are a thing of beauty and you’ve showcased them here deliciously. Beautiful work!!

    Reply
  • December 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    Wow, what a gorgeous, impressive dessert. Love this!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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      Thank you Brina. While it was tasty together. . .each element on it’s own was also divine.

      Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 9:55 am
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    You know I am in love with this one since I followed it from Instagram to here! I have just the occasion coming up to make this 🙂 So sorry to know about your kitty. She sounds amazing!

    Reply
    • February 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm
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      It’s definitely a good one to be in love with Jenny. It’s one of my favorites things I have cooked recently and it definitely will be on repeat in my house. Let me know you how like it.

      Reply

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