(Bon Appetit, December 2007)
1 bottle dry white wine
2 C pear juice or nectar
1 ½ C sugar
12 whole green cardamom seeds, crushed in plastic bag with a mallet
4 inch-diameter rounds fresh peeled ginger
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
5 large but firm pears, peeled
Combine first 6 ingredients in large pan and stir until sugar dissolved. Add pears and lower heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Transfer liquid & pears to large bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. Transfer pears to a cutting board and bring the liquid to a boil and then cook for abut 15 minutes, until thickened and reduced. Strain spices, cover & cool.
White Chocolate Mousse
7 ounces white chocolate
1/3 C Pear William (clear pear brandy)
¼ C water
Melt this mixture over low heat or in a double boiler (will seem liquidy). Scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean and transfer to large bowl. Gradually add an 8 ounce container of marscapone cheese. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream and fold into marscapone mixture. Cover and chill for 3 hours.
Cut pears in half lengthwise, remove cores and stems and cut into ¼ inch thick slices.
1 ½ to packages ladyfingers will be needed. In a large clear bowl place a layer of ladyfingers to cover bottom. Drizzle 5 Tbsp of pear syrup over, spread 1/3 mousse mixture over and then place a layer of sliced pears. Repeat with ladyfingers, drizzle, mousse & pears for as many layers as your bowl will take (usually 3)
Using 2 cups whipping cream, add ¼ cup of the pear syrup and whip until stiff peaks form. Cover the trifle and garnish with shredded white chocolate. Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.