Poached Pears with Honey-Gorgonzola Mousse


These pears may be poached up to 2 days in advance. Keep the pears submerged in the liquid, tightly covered, and stored in the refrigerator. This is a popular dessert at Brennan’s Picholine.

  • 6Servings


  • 1/2 lb. Gorgonzola cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 medium-sized pears, about 2 lb.
  • 4 cups Sauternes or similar sweet dessert wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 Tbs. cardamom seeds
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 5 slices raisin-walnut bread, lightly toasted and cut into triangles


1. Combine cheese and 1/2 cup honey in food processor, and process until smooth.
2. Whip heavy cream until medium peaks form. Transfer cheese mixture to large bowl, and fold in whipped cream. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3. Peel pears, leaving stems intact. Cut small slice off bottoms so pears stand
upright. Using melon baller, hollow out pear cores as much as possible, taking care not to cut through sides of pears.
4. Combine Sauternes, water, sugar, star anise, cardamom seeds, vanilla beans and lemon juice in large pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears, and cover with large sheet parchment paper. Cover parchment with lid one size smaller than pan to keep pears submerged.
5. Cook pears until al dente, about 30 minutes, or depending on ripeness of pears. Remove pears, and cool to room temperature. Discard poaching liquid
unless making pears in advance. If so, keep pears submerged in liquid until ready to serve, and discard liquid after arranging pears on dessert plates.
6. Fill pastry bag with Gorgonzola mixture, and pipe equal amounts into pear cavities. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of remaining honey in center of six dessert plates.
7. Place filled pears on top of honey. Drizzle toasts with small amount of honey, and lean toast triangles against each pear. Serve any remaining honey alongside.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 630
  • Carbohydrate Content: 96 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 80 mg
  • Fat Content: 24 g
  • Fiber Content: 5 g
  • Protein Content: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 14 g
  • Sodium Content: 480 mg
  • Sugar Content: 78 g