three things you should keep in mind…i am not into the new-gourmet-ness foodie-fads, i am a diabetic with a dessert death-wish and i like pink. as a reluctant hostess i prefer easy and quick - in that order. i suppose everyone has their idea of foolproof, but since i’m already far gone by dessert time, i can only rely on desserts that i can slap together in an inebriated stupor. for some reason julia child is always good for that…

ps. i never core them, it’s too much hassle and it passes on that nutty taste, yes, this means the mascarpone filling goes by the side.

For 4

3 or more pears, firm and ripe, but not too ripe (Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, Comice)
1 qt water with 2 tbl lemon juice in a big bowl

2 cups red wine in a 3 qt pan
The zest of 1 lemon
2 tbl lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of cinnamon

Peel, halve, and cord the pears, dropping them into the the bowl of water with lemon. Meanwhile, simmer the wine with all othee ingredients for about 5 minutes. Transfer pears to wine mixture and bring just to a simmer. If pears aren’t covered by liquid, add more wine or water and sugar; proportions are 6 tbl sugar to 1 cup of liquid. Lower heat and maintain at not quite simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool in syrup at least 20 minutes.

Remove the pears and most of the syrup to another container, leaving about a cup of syrup in the pan. Refrigerate the pears. Add a 3 tbl more sugar to the syrup, bring to a boil and reduce until thick. Remove the thickened syrup to another container and refrigerate.

1/3 cup mascarpone, or cream cheese, softened
grated lemon rind of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tsp sugar or to taste
1/4 tsp vanilla
a little milk or cream if mixture is to thick