1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the upright pears without crowding, combine the apple cider, water, sugar, orange and lemon zests, and lemon juice. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Peel the pears, leaving the stems attached. If necessary, cut a thin sliver off the bottoms so they will stand upright. Place the pears upright in the pan. With a bulb baster or a spoon, drizzle each pear with the syrup. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, basting frequently with the syrup, until the pears can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a shallow serving platter.
3. Pour the poaching syrup through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a pitcher. Reserve the zest to use as a garnish. Measure 1 cup syrup and pour it into a small saucepan. (Reserve and chill the remaining syrup for use in other recipes.) Add the orange juice to the saucepan and stir to mix. Place over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil, and boil until reduced to a thick syrup, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the warm sauce over each pear.
4. To serve, arrange the pears on individual plates. Place a spoonful of mascarpone next to each pear and spoon the remaining sauce over each pear. Garnish each pear with some of the reserved zest. Garnish each spoonful of mascarpone with 1 tablespoon of the minced ginger and a few flecks of the remaining zest.
TO MAKE AHEAD: The pears can be poached up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. The pears will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 day.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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