Flavors that Pair Well With: Pear

On the first day of Christmas, you don’t have to give your true love a partridge in a pear tree. Chances are, that special someone would be just as grateful to have a delicious dish that features the fresh and flavorful pear. Pears are filled with Vitamin C and fiber, so they’re good for warding off winter colds and keeping you feeling healthy through all those filling holiday feasts. If you’re wondering what sorts of flavors work well with this versatile fruit, we’ve got a few ideas that may get your creative juices flowing.

Lemon

A pear is grainy and light. It is juicy, but not saturated, sweet but not syrupy. This balance of textures and flavors makes the pear a wonderful partner of the lemon: one is classy and subtle, while the other is festive and bold. When adding notes of lemon to your pear dishes, you can add fresh squeezed lemon juice to your recipe or use a quality zester to provide colorful, citrus inspired curlicues for decorative flair.

Cranberry

These little red berries are wonderful holiday ingredients. They are bright and warm and can serve as a lovely way to add color to the otherwise neutral hues of pears. Making your own cranberry sauce is as easy as buying fresh cranberries and adding sugar, lemon zest, and water while stirring the ingredients over the stovetop until everything blends together. You can use the sauce as a side sauce for your pear recipe, or you can incorporate the sauce directly into the recipe. Another option is to arrange uncooked cranberries as a decoration around the outside rim of a serving platter one which you place your pear creation.

Goat cheese

The creamy texture of goat cheese makes it a nice counterpoint to the grainy texture of pears and the thickness of the cheese also balances the lightness of the pears. To make one of the easiest, most popular appetizers you’ll want to start with some crostinis or artisan crackers that have a bit of thickness to them. Spread a layer of cream cheese on top and then add thin slices of pear. Next, drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze on top and add a few walnut pieces. You’ve just created an elegant and delicious holiday appetizer!

Go Nuts

The holidays can be a little crazy, so why not go all in on nuts? There are so many kinds of protein-packed nuts that pair well with pairs, but the most popular are hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds. Chopping walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans can be added directly atop your pear creation. For example, pear slices and walnut pieces can be added to the top of your vanilla ice cream sundae for a special upgrade in flavor. Rather than buying whole almonds, you can use almond slices to add those subtle flavors without overwhelming a dish. Keep nuts and pears together with various cheeses or glazes.

Vanilla and Chocolate

Let’s be honest, we don’t need much of an excuse to delight in these two incredible flavors. Pears are the perfect healthy canvas on which to paint our sweet dreams of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and vanilla infused pear tarts with drizzled chocolate. You can even sprinkle thin pear slices with vanilla flavored sugar as a way to jazz up a warm holiday beverage.

Wine for the Win

Did you know you can poach pears with red wine? Yes, it’s true. All you need are pears, red wine, sugar, a pod of vanilla, a stick of cinnamon, and fresh sprigs of thyme. It only take about half an hour to cook the ingredients, and you can prepare the dish up to two days in advance, which makes it an ideal holiday party menu item.

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