Seckel Pears with Brie, Honey and Walnuts
Seckel pears poached in apple cider and spices can be savory or sweet, and give off a heavenly holiday aroma as they cook.
This recipe can be made a day ahead, brought to room temperature and filled just before serving.
6 Seckel pears, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
2 cups apple cider
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 whole allspice
6 whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
1/4 pound Brie cheese, cut into bits
2 tablespoons warm honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1. Place the pear halves, cut side down, in a large sauté pan that can hold them in one layer. Pour the cider over pears.
2. Tie the cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves and peppercorns together in cheesecloth. Add to pan. Add the orange slices. Bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and cook the pears gently until they are just fork tender. Remove pears with a slotted spoon to a dish to drain. Remove the cheesecloth.
4. Reduce the remaining liquid until half its volume. Strain and set aside.
5. In a bowl, combine the cheese and honey. Divide and fill the pear cavities. Sprinkle the tops with walnuts.
6. Arrange 2 pear halves on each of 6 plates and spoon some of the reserved liquid around the pears.