“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, technical specialist Michelle Anaya-Malone continues her appreciation for pears with a dessert that also features mascarpone cheese and hazelnuts.
Michelle Anaya-Malone has a pear tree in her backyard — and part of her harvest goes on the heat. She loves grilling pears.
Pears can be teamed with meats, but Anaya-Malone likes the way the fruit can be used to create elegant desserts. Mascarpone cheese and hazelnuts are two ingredients she uses for sweet and crunchy tastes after dinner.
“Mascarpone is the same filling you would use in tiramisu or cannoli, a sweet Italian cheese,” Anaya-Malone said. “It adds a nice creamy texture and blends well with the grilled pear. You want a little bit of creaminess and your mascarpone is right there. You want a little crunch, too — eventually the pear softens — so you have your toasted hazelnuts.”
The dessert is a little different from the strawberry and blueberry shortcakes that will soon appear on picnic tables. Anaya-Malone said the recipe is simple to put together, and minutes saved will give the chef more time to spend in seasonal pursuits.
“It’s a nice summer night and you don’t want to cook, you don’t want to be in front of the stove,” she said.
GRILLED PEARS WITH MASCARPONE AND HAZELNUTS
2 pears, halved with cores removed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1⁄2 or 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup mascarpone cheese
1⁄8 teaspoon, sugar
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons rough, chopped toasted hazelnuts
Lightly brush pears with oil and maple syrup. Place pears onto grill at medium heat. In a separate bowl, mix mascarpone, sugar, salt and remaining maple syrup.
Remove the pears when cooked al dente — about two minutes per side — and rest for a couple of minutes.
Slice the cooked pears into fans and place them into a bowl. Drizzle with mascarpone mix and garnish with hazelnuts.