Peel the pears and slice in half from the stem end to the base. Remove the stem and core using a small paring knife or even a melon baller. Slice the pears so they fan out, leaving ¾ inch intact at the stem end. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Combine the spices, both whole and ground, and sprinkle over the pears.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the orange juice, Triple Sec and brown sugar (or coconut sugar or Golden Monkfruit sweetener.) Pour this mixture over the pears. Cover with foil (or an oven-proof lid) and bake for 30 minutes, basting the pears with the liquid at 10-minute intervals. Check at 20 minutes and remove from the oven when they are barely fork-tender.
Pour this mixture over the pears. Cover with foil (or an oven-proof lid) and bake for 30 minutes, basting the pears with the liquid at 10-minute intervals. Check at 20 minutes and remove from the oven when they are barely fork-tender.
While the pears are poaching in the cinnamon orange sauce, prepare the mascarpone cheese topping. In a small bowl, combine mascarpone, maple syrup and orange zest. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Gently remove the pear halves with a slotted spoon to another serving dish or to individual dessert glasses
Strain the liquid to remove the whole spices. Pour the strained liquid into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by one-third.
Pour this warm cinnamon-spiced orange sauce over the pears, dividing equally among the dessert glasses. Top with a dollop of maple mascarpone and serve!
As an alternative, poach the pears whole. Whole poached pears make a spectacular presentation. I like to use tiny pears, like Forelle or Seckel when I serve them whole. Follow the instructions above but instead of slicing in half, carefully remove the core.The only tricky part of this recipe is carefully removing the core while leaving the pear intact. I use a very thin knife with a sharp point to scoop out the few seeds that these usually contain.Arrange the pears in a baking dish with a lid, and add the orange juice, Triple Sec, brown sugar and spices.Pop the dish in the oven at 350°F. to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes while you eat dinner. Your home will smell heavenly! These pears become tender and almost melt in your mouth.