Chef's Recipes

Automata’s blackened pears, vanilla mascarpone and candied hazelnuts

Here, the natural sugars of the pear caramelise and deepen, and work perfectly with the mascarpone and candied nuts.

By Clayton Wells
  • Serves 6
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking (plus cooling)
Automata’s blackened pears, vanilla mascarpone and candied hazelnuts
Automata’s blackened pears, vanilla mascarpone and candied hazelnuts

"I don't eat a lot of desserts or really sweet things," says Wells. "I find that a meal needs balance all the way to the end, and it's the very simple things I like the most. Here, the natural sugars of the pear caramelise and deepen, and work perfectly with the mascarpone and candied nuts."

Ingredients

  • 6 firm William or Packham pears, unpeeled
  • 200 gm hazelnuts
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 500 gm mascarpone
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Method

Main
  • 1
    Char the pears over an open flame or on a barbecue, turning every 5 minutes, until completely blackened all over and a thick crust forms (30-40 minutes). Cool completely, then carefully remove the crust and halve lengthways.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for candied hazelnuts, preheat oven to 160C. Spread nuts on a baking tray and roast until browned and fragrant (5-6 minutes), then tip into a clean tea towel and rub off skins. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add nuts, then gradually scatter sugar over, mixing continuously, until sugar caramelises and coats the nuts (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper to cool, then coarsely chop and store in an airtight container until required.
  • 3
    Fold mascarpone and vanilla seeds together in a bowl and serve with blackened pears scattered with candied hazelnuts.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Le Père Jules “Bouché” pear cider, Normandy. Drink suggestion by Clayton Wells & Abby Meinke