Monday, December 27, 2010

Spiced Cranberry Poached Pears

These are my Holiday secret weapons. The ultimate in versatility. This recipe yields so many options and culinary variations that making them a few days before any holiday is just smart. It yields a cocktail mixer, garnish, a holiday salad component, dressing ingredient and a wonderful desert.

Spiced Cranberry Poached Pears & Syrup

1 gallon of sweetened cranberry juice
5 bosc pears
1 slice of lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of mulling spices (juniper berries, star anise, cloves)

Peel pears with a fruit peeler.
Slice them in half, leaving the stem on if you like (I like).
Core with a melon-baller and a paring knife.
Find a nice cranberry juice or juice blend (one without high fructose corn syrup)
Put the cleaned pears in a large sauce pan and cover with the juice.
Add cinnamon stick, lemon peel, star anise, cloves and juniper berries.
Cook until the pears are tender. Remove the pears and spices and let the sauce reduce by over a half.
Once it is thick, sweet and syrupy (coating the back of the spoon) and your house smells like wonderful, consider the following options...

#1 Warm poached pears with vanilla ice cream and spiced cranberry syrup
(Or let the syrup and pears cool in the fridge for up to four days and make...)
#2 Salad w/baby greens, chilled poached pears, blue cheese & candied walnuts
#3 Cranberry salad dressing (olive oil, cranberry syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon, salt & pepper)
#4 Cranberry/Champagne cocktail (Champagne, cranberry syrup & a lemon peel)
#5 Chilled pears for breakfast. Perfect for a New Years hangover.

I hope you try them and I hope you love them. If you come up with any other awesome uses for these beauties, leave a comment below because I can't get enough of them.


  1. Those look scrumptious! The photos are amazing as well, what kind of camera did you use?

    I will be attempting this recipe very soon.

    Thank you xx

  2. I use a cannon powershot. I love it. The poor beast is worked to the bone.