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Pickled pears & cheese platter

Pickled pears & cheese platter

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Rating: 5 out of 5.2 ratings
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

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

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition:
NutrientUnit
kcal426
fat31g
saturates20g
carbs17g
sugars17g
fibre2g
protein21g
salt1.76g
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Ingredients

  • 500ml perry or cider vinegar
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp white or yellow mustard seed
  • 10 cloves
  • 8 small firm-ish pears

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
  • few winter salad leaves

Method

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 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.

Goes well with

Recipe from January 2010, January 2010

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Overall rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.2 ratings
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