Give your holiday cocktails a twist with pears

Celebrity chef and lifestyle expert Vanessa Cantave suggests putting a spin on your hors d'oeuvres and cocktails this holiday season by using a remarkably versatile fruit: pear.

Spiced pear martini
Servings:

Serves 12 (makes 12 cups)

Ingredients

    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 medium cinnamon stick, broken in half
    • 1 750-ml bottle Remy V
    • 5 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
    • 3 tablespoons pear nectar
    • Freshly-grated nutmeg, for serving

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Pear and arugula flatbreads with brie and pancetta
Servings:

Makes 4 9-inch flatbreads

Ingredients

  • Flatbread

    • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
    • 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons warm water heated to between 115 degrees F to 120 degrees F
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
    • 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon rapid rise active dry yeast
  • Topping

    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
    • 5 cups baby arugula (about 4 ounces), divided into 4 equal portions
    • 2 ripe but firm Bosc pears cut into 1/4-inch thick slices and divided into 4 equal portions
    • 8 ounces sliced Brie cheese, divided into 4 equal portions
    • 8 ounces pancetta, diced and divided into 4 equal portions

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Salty-and-sweet mini caramel pears with peanuts

Ingredients

    • 1 16-ounce box dark brown sugar
    • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
    • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for baking sheets
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon molasses
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 24 8-inch wooden popsicle sticks
    • 24 mini pears, such as Forelles, unpeeled (see note)
    • 2 cups chopped roasted, salted peanuts

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Tips:

Chicken and pear skewers with roasted pepper and basil
Servings:

Serves 4; makes 24 cocktail-size skewers

Ingredients

    • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • 2 ripe Anjou pears (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 16-ounce jar whole, fire-roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup whole, fresh basil leaves

Preparation

Serving Directions:

Dolce La Poire cocktail

Ingredients

    • 3 parts Martini Moscato d
    • 1 part Grey Goose La Poire
    • 1⁄4 part simple syrup
    • Squeeze fresh lemon

Preparation

Baking Directions:

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