Not all holiday appetizers have to be overly rich.

Not all holiday appetizers have to be overly rich.

One of my favorite dishes during the holidays is poached pears.  It’s a super simple and elegant dish to serve guests.  And prosciutto will always be a win with anyone.  If one of your friends doesn’t like prosciutto, time to replace them with a better, more tasteful friend.

Salty, sweet and classy.

Blow the socks off your guests at your next holiday cocktail party.

Eiswein and Maple Poached Pears Wrapped in Prosciutto

Servings  45-55    Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes    Cook Time: 20 minutes    Total Time: 2 hours


Poaching Liquid:

2/3   cup eiswein
1        cup water
1/2   cup maple syrup
1        cinnamon stick
2        whole cloves
6        ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, halved and cored


1 lb  prosciutto (sliced extra thin)
1       bunch of watercress with small leaves


  1. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot combine the eiswein, sugar, water, cinnamon stick, and cloves.  Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat so that the poaching liquid can be at a medium simmer.  Add the pears and the maple syrup and bring back to a simmer.  If needed, adjust the heat so that it stays at a gentle simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes until the pears are tender.  Once tender, lay them out in a jelly roll pan to cool.
  3. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, about 45 minutes.
  4. While the poaching liquid is reducing, carefully dry off each pear half with a paper towel.
  5. Cut each pear half into 3 or 4 wedges keeping the pieces as equal as possible.
  6. Once you have cut the pears, roll each pear in one slice of prosciutto and with one or to sprigs of watercress.
  7. The poaching liquid should reduce to 1/3 or less of its original amount.  Once it has cooled to room temperature, pour over the prosciutto wrapped pears.

Notes about this recipe: The pears can be poached the day before.  Make sure that you store the pears in the unreduced poaching liquid in the refrigerator.  If your prosciutto is really wide, cut each strip in half lengthwise.

This recipe is adapted from Frank Dodd’s Maple Pears and Prosciutto.  His recipe can be found here: Maple Pears and Prosciutto

Happy Holidays!