Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Marsala Pears with Ricotta

We eat these classic Marsala Pears for desert after our big Italian Christmas dinner ever year. Except this year. Because we were in California and missed big Italian Christmas dinner, I decided I would share them with friends and family alike at my annual supper bowl party. These are a serious crowd pleaser so be ready for people to ask you to make them all year long.


    6 firm pears, preferably Bartlett; peeled, halved, cored (using amelon ball tool) and brushed w/ lemon juice
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 c. Sweet Marsala Wine
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2/c. low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2/c. low fat ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tb powder sugar
  • 1 oz semisweet chocolate, grated or curled
  • 4 Tb sliced almonds, toasted
  • Preheat oven 400 degrees F
  • Place pears in deep baking dish if possible (approximately 6 x 6 x 4 inches- If you don't have this then use a 9 x 13 Pyrex). In a medium saucepan, bring water, Marsala wine and sugar to a boil over high heat to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour boiling Marsala mixture over pears and bake in the oven uncovered for 1 hours (check for doneness, if it needs longer, let them cook). They are done when a knife easily pierces the pears.
  • Remove pears from oven and let rest in liquid for 30 minutes to cool slightly; then refrigerate at least 2 hours but overnight is preferred.
  • Beat cream cheese til light. Beat in ricotta and powder sugar mixing well. (You can also do this by combining everything in your Blendtec and hit the batter button as I did) Set aside. Remove pears from cooking liquid and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, set on medium high heat, reduce liquid to 1 1/2 cup (approximately 15-20 minutes...stir very often).
  • To serve, barely cut a flat spot on the bottom of the pears to make them sit flat. Place a chilled pear half in a bowl. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of the Ricotta mixture in the hollow of the pear. Drizzle with the Marsala syrup. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and almonds. Your taste buds will thank you for this one...


  1. Is that cinnamon sprinkled on top? This looks delish!

  2. Rosie, thanks for your comments! It is not cinnamon it is actually the dust from the toasted almonds mixed with the chocolate shavings. Thanks for asking!