This elegant hors d'oeuvre combines fruit, cheese and bread. I make it often during the Christmas season. You can experiment with different types of cheese.—Mary Ann Dell, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
- 4 medium Bosc pears
- 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
- 16 slices French bread baguette (1/2 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 cups watercress
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
- Core pears from the bottoms, leaving stems intact. Peel pears. Place on their sides in a large saucepan; add the cranberry juice, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until pears are almost tender, turning once.
- Remove pears with a slotted spoon; set aside. Bring poaching liquid to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup.
- Meanwhile, brush bread with butter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Divide watercress among eight salad plates; top each with a pear half. Drizzle with poaching liquid. Place toast and cheese on plates. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Poached Pears with Cheddar in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2010, p9
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