For the Poached Pears:
3 fresh pears
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Place 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water with the cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, peal the pears.
2. Once the liquid reaches a boil, add the pears and turn heat to medium-low.
3. Simmer pears about 10-15 minutes, or until soft.
Remove from poaching liquid, core, and chop.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the poaching liquid.
For the Pear & Cranberry Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or canola)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, oil, and both sugars. Mix about 5 minutes on medium-high.
2. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl.
3. With the mixer on low, carefully alternate in the dry ingredients and poaching liquid in two batches.
4. Fold in the chopped pears and cranberries.
5. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake at 350 until centers are done (about 24 minutes for 4 X 6inch pans).
For the Mascarpone Frosting:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup mascarpone, softened
5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1. Cream the butter and mascarpone with an electric mixer.
2. Carefully add in the remaining ingredients and mix until light and creamy.
To Assemble Cake:
Stack cake layers alternating with the mascarpone frosting.