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Wine-Poached Pear Trifle

Makes: 16 servings
Prep 1 hr Bake 350° 40 mins  /325 degrees F Cook 1 hr 5 mins Cool 10 mins
Wine-Poached Pear Trifle
  • Wine-Poached Pears
  • 10  medium Bartlett or Comice Pears (about 4 pounds 6 ounces)
  • 2 750  milliliter bottle  light bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir, or 6-1/4 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 1/4  cups  sugar
  • 1/2  cup  fresh cranberries
  • Vanilla Cake
  • 2  large eggs
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla
  • 1/2  cup  milk
  • 1  tablespoon  unsalted butter
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Hazelnut Cream
  • 8  ounces  mascarpone cheese
  • 1  cup  whipping cream
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/2  cup  chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • Streusel Topping
  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1. Peel, halve, and core pears. In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven combine wine and the 1-1/4 cups sugar. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add pears. Place parchment or a plate on top of the pears to keep them submerged in the wine. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until pears are soft (knife inserted goes in easily). Remove the pears from the liquid using a slotted spoon. Cool pears to room temperature. Slice pears, if desired. Return the poaching liquid to a gentle boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until liquid is syrupy and has reduced to 2 cups. Stir in cranberries. Set aside to cool.


2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8x1 1/2-inch round cake pans (or a size close to the diameter of the trifle dish).* Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour pans. In a medium mixing bowl beat the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick. In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium heat until hot. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Slowly stir hot milk into egg mixture. Stir in 1 cup flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Divide the batter between the pans; spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.


3. In a medium mixing bowl beat mascarpone, whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick. Stir in 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Cover and chill until ready to assemble trifle.


4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, and the 1/8 teaspoon salt until crumbly. Spread in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool. Place streusel in a large self-sealing plastic bag. Crush with a rolling pin, leaving some large pieces. Stir in the 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts.


5. LAYER 1: In a 9-inch diameter straight-side trifle dish layer Wine-Poached pears and reduced poaching liquid, reserving some pear slices and cranberries for the top.

6. LAYER 2: Place one Vanilla Cake layer on pears.

7. LAYER 3: Spoon three-fourths of the Hazelnut Cream on the cake.

8. LAYER 4: Top with second Vanilla Cake layer.

9. LAYER 5: Top with remaining Hazelnut Cream, the streusel topping,** and reserved pears.

10. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to 24 hours.

From the Test Kitchen
  • *Choose cake pans that are close to the same diameter as your trifle dish. If necessary, trim cake layers to fit the dish.
  • **Reserve remaining streusel for another use, such as sprinkling over ice cream or cut up fresh fruit.
Nutrition Facts (Wine-Poached Pear Trifle)
  • Servings Per Recipe 16,
  • cal. (kcal) 482,
  • Fat, total (g) 19,
  • chol. (mg) 71,
  • sat. fat (g) 9,
  • carb. (g) 59,
  • Monounsaturated fat (g) 8,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1,
  • Trans fatty acid (g) 0,
  • fiber (g) 4,
  • sugar (g) 41,
  • pro. (g) 7,
  • vit. A (IU) 340,
  • vit. C (mg) 5,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 1,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (g) 36,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0,
  • sodium (mg) 139,
  • Potassium (mg) 214,
  • calcium (mg) 61,
  • iron (mg) 1,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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