Peel pears and leave stem intact. In a large saucepan, bring wine and an equal amount of cold water to a simmer. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and add to wine and water mixture. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and star anise.
When the wine is hot gently add pears to the poaching liquid and simmer for 20 mins placing a plate on top of the pears to keep them submerged.
Cool pears in wine mixture to room temperature. Set aside to cool in the poaching liquid, turning occasionally to ensure even colour.
Combine mascarpone, cream, honey and cinnamon in a bowl and beat until thick and smooth.
Remove pears from poaching liquid and gently slice them. Strain poaching liquid and place back in saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced by at least half. Cool to room temperature. Drizzle pears with sauce and serve with whipped Mascarpone.
In 2004 Giorgio Linguanti arrived on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. In only four years this young Sicilian went from not speaking a word of English to opening his own cheese shop and winning an award at the Royal Melbourne Show and has won numerous awards since.
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