It’s pear season! I love pears… Watch and learn how to make this buttery Poached Pears with Whipped Mascarpone. A pear purchased at the farmer’s market or grocery store will almost always be unripe. Because pears bruise easily, they are picked and shipped in an unripened state. It is very important to properly ripen the pears at home to improve its flavor. Choose firm, fragrant fruit without soft spots. Place the pears in a paper bag. Pierce the bag in several places, fold the top over, and set aside for two to seven days. To check for ripeness, press down gently on the stem end. When ready, it will give slightly. Don’t wait for the pear to feel soft all over, or it will be mushy. Once the pear is ripe, refrigerate, unwashed, wrapped in a paper or plastic bag until ready to use, up to one week. Although pears should be fully ripe for eating out of hand. However, for salads or cooking, they are best when firm-ripe. Watch and learn how to make this quick and easy recipe for buttery poached pears topped with whipped mascarpone.

Poached Pear with Whipped Mascarpone
Makes 4 servings

1 cup apple cider
2 Tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced into six slices each
4 ounces mascarpone
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons honey
Crisp almond cookies, for serving (optional)

*** For directions watch the video.

Want more pear recipes? Try these…

Pear Charlotte
Roasted Pears with Pecorino Cheese
Pear Tart Tatin
Poached Pears with Gingerbread


I love puff pastry! It’s flaky, delicious, and best of all, ready to use in the freezer section of your grocery store. The store-bought puff pastry crust makes prep time shorter and still produces a quality tart. Watch and learn how to make this rustic apple tart, using puff pastry as the crust. This dessert really couldn’t be easier — just score a border in your pastry before adding your apples and brushing everything with a quick egg wash before baking. After 35 minutes, this beautifully seasonal dessert is ready to serve. We suggest serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Store-bought frozen puff pastry sometimes cracks along seams when unfolded. To prevent this, leave pastry folded when you roll it.

Rustic Apple Tart
Serves 4 to 6

You’ll need: One sheet pan, pastry brush

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a standard 17.3-ounce package), thawed
Flour, for work surface
3 Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons apple jelly, or apricot jam

*** For directions watch the video.

Want more apple recipes? Try these…

Rustic apple tart
Cheddar-Crusted Apple Pie
Apple-Brandy Strudel
Apple-Brandy Strudel
Apple-Cider Doughnut Cake
Apple-Cider Doughnut Cake


Every little girl dream for her birthday is to have a princess cake. Surprise your little princess and her guests when she cuts through the cake candies fall out. Watch and learn how Elise, of My Cupcake Addiction, makes this surprise princess cake.

Surprise Princess Cake

You’ll need:
Sharp knife
Offset spatula (or regular knife)
Serrated knife
Fondant roller
Leaf plunge cutters, leaf shaped cutters or a circular cookie cutter
Circle cookie cutter (5.5-cm or 2-1/4″)
Cornstarch (or icing sugar to prepare fondant surface)
Iced cake board
Tinker Bell doll (try to get one with plastic clothing on the bodice, rather than material)
Piping bag
Round piping tip (any size will do but larger is better)

Giant cupcake, baked and cooled (Giant Cupcake Pan) – You could also use regular cakes, or store bought cakes and just carve the dress shape by hand)
Buttercream frosting, tinted green)
Green fondant
Green Milk Chocolate M&M’s Candy & Yellow Milk Chocolate M&M’s Candy, or whatever candy you’d like inside your Tinkerbell. Smaller candy gives a better spill effect
Wilton Gold Color Mist, or glitter (optional)
Sugar flowers

*** For directions watch the video.

Want more surprise cake recipes? Try these…

Surprise Princess Cake
Surprise Soccer Ball Chocolate Cake
Pinata Surprise Cake
Pinata Surprise Cake
Cake Ball Brains Oozing Cherry Blood
Surprise Cake Ball Brains for Halloween
Surprise Cupcakes
Surprise Cupcakes