- In a small bowl combine saffron and 2 tablespoons warm water. Let steep for 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears in a single layer, combine saffron mixture, wine, ½ cup honey, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Add pears to saucepan, laying them on their sides. Poach pears gently, turning them frequently, until tender, 15-20 minutes.
- If desired, allow the pears to cool in the poaching liquid. This will give them a more vibrant color. They can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
- Right before serving, prepare the vanilla bean mascarpone. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine mascarpone, cream, vanilla bean paste, and remaining 1 tablespoon honey. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- To serve, spoon a large dollop of mascarpone onto each of 4 plates. Cut ¼” off the bottom of each pear, and stand pears upright in the mascarpone. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Serve immediately.
- Any leftover poaching syrup can be used in cocktails.