And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Okay, so I haven't got a partridge. And while Farmer Paul does grow pears out in our lovely backyard garden, the tree went bare weeks ago.

But I found these lovely little Seckel pears at a favorite farm market and just had to have them. Cored, poached in a sweet delicate sauce and served cold -- yummy!

1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
½ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon strips lemon zest, finely grated
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup cranberry liqueur

4 Seckel pears, on the larger side

With a small knife, remove as much of the core as possible from the bottom of each pear while leaving the fruit whole. Add the pears to the saucepan. Simmer, covered, until fork-tender, 20-25 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil; boil until reduced to 2 c., about 10 minutes. Pour the syrup through a sieve over the pears. Cover and chill, turning the pears occasionally, 6 hours or overnight.

Serve the pears with the syrup and a cinnamon stick garnish. These pears make an especially nice light dessert with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Mmmm...Mmmm...good!


  1. Sounds lovely. Did you make or buy the cranberry liqueur? I'm just about to do the former but wonder whether it's commercially available.

  2. Black Duck purchased at Table & Vine in West Springfield on Route 5. Very nice.

  3. debra, have you heard of the book by tom valenti (the chef at ouest) "You Don't have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook." I was reading the intro pages and he says that Shiela Lukins recommended him to be the author. At first when I saw it, I thought it was one of her books, cuz it looks like her books (to me).


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