Holiday Appetizers: Poached Pears with Grapes and Cranberries

You know what I love about this recipe? It can be an appetizer or a dessert. It can be prepared easily for a large crowd or just as easily individually. And it is so festive looking! With a few pears left in the fridge and an abundance of grapes and cranberries, it seemed natural to poach them all together. For an appetizer -  place goat brie cheese drizzled with honey on the side or put slices of goat cheese right into the ramekin. For dessert, pair with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. All are equally delish! Keep reading for the recipe...

Poached Pears with Grapes and Cranberries

  • 4 firm, medium-size pears
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 5 tablesoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 springs of rosemary
  • 4 cups red grapes
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  1. Peel the pears and place in a medium saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the pears.
  2. Add grapes, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, orange peel, anise, lemon juice, cloves and rosemary.
  3. Set saucepan over high heat, and bring liquid to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes; stirring occasionally until pears are tender.
  5. Add cranberries. 
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from heat; let fruit cool in the liquid.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruit into a bowl.  
  9. When ready to serve, arrange in a large bowl or in individual bowls, and drizzle a couple spoonfulls of poaching liquid over the fruit. I also added some more maple syrup to sweeten it up.
  10. Serve with soft goat cheese and crackers, whipped cream or ice cream.
  11. Garnish with sprig of rosemary and cinnamon stick.
Makes: 4 servings

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