Pickled pears & cheese platter

Pickled pears & cheese platter

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 8
This stunning prepare-ahead starter can be served on individual plates, or just gather everyone around for drinks in the kitchen

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian


  • kcal426
  • fat31g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs17g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre2g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.76g


  • 500ml perry or cider vinegar
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp white or yellow mustard seed
  • 10 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 8 small firm-ish pears



    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

To serve

  • large loaf of walnut or other nutty brown bread with a good crust
  • good wedge (about 700g) of strong cheese, like stilton or Stichelton or a firmish goat's cheese



    A true glory of British cheese-making that has much controversy about its origins, how it's…

  • few winter salad leaves


  1. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a large saucepan with 500ml of water. Heat gently to melt the sugar. Meanwhile, peel the pears, halve, then scoop out the core with a teaspoon or melon-baller. Add the pears to the pan, they should be just about covered with the liquid, then bring to a simmer for 25-30 mins. Test the pears with a tip of a knife – they should be just tender. Lift out with a slotted spoon and put into a large Kilner jar or a few smaller ones. Boil the liquid down to about 600ml, then pour over the pears to cover. Seal and store in the fridge for up to a week, before serving.

  2. On Christmas Day, remove the pears from the fridge so they come up to room temperature. To serve, thickly slice and toast the bread and slice the cheese into thin wedges. Lift the pears from the jar and layer up with the cheese on a large platter or board, then scatter with some leaves. Serve with the bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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24th Dec, 2012
Excellent recipe! Will be delicious with our Christmas cheese, had a sneaky one last night (day before Christmas Eve)!! Will make some for presents next year!
16th Nov, 2010
Made this last year and keeps well for a month full of flavour and great with any strong cheese or smoked ham. Was all gone after boxing day buffet.
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