Pear Tiramisu

Cook time 50 minutes + 4 hours chilling
Servings 6-8

Ingredients

250ml marsala
100g + 3 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
500g mascarpone cheese
1 ½- 2 cups Greek yoghurt
30 (300g) sponge finger (Savoiardi) biscuits
1 ½ cups strong espresso coffee
Cocoa powder, dusted, grated dark chocolate, and toasted hazelnuts, chopped (optional), to serve

Pear Tiramisu

Method

In a medium saucepan, combine the marsala, sugar, water and vanilla and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, cover with a cartouche (a round piece of baking paper to fit the saucepan) and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears from liquid and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut pears wedges in half.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer beat the mascarpone on low speed until smooth and gradually add the 3 tbsp sugar. Gently fold in the yoghurt and refrigerate until needed.

Dip half the sponge fingers into the coffee, 1 at a time for a few seconds, and arrange in a single layer, trimming to fit, over the base of a 6 to 8 cup capacity dish (I used a 20cm x 20cm dish – at least 6cm deep).

Arrange half the pears on top of the sponge fingers and drizzle with a little of the poaching liquid.

Use a spatula to spread half the mascarpone mixture over the pears. Repeat with remaining biscuits dipped in coffee, pears, a drizzle of poaching liquid and remaining mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve dusted with cocoa powder, topped with grated chocolate and hazelnuts, if desired.