I love poached pears this time of year!  They lend themselves nicely to any holiday menu.  I am using St. Agur blue cheese, maybe one of the most perfect foods on the planet!

I always save my poaching liquid.  It is great to add to a vinaigrette, or you can use it to make a smart holiday cocktail!



  • 3 Red Bartlett pears, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds taken out with a melon baller.  Take out a little extra flesh so you have a hole about the size of a silver dollar.  Cut the stems out carefully.
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup large pecan pieces
  • 1/2 T. butter
  • 1 t. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 T St. Agur blue cheese


  • In a small sauce pan, put red wine and next 5 ingredients.
  • In a second small sauce pan, put white wine and next 5 ingredients.
  • Bring both poaching liquids to a boil, then add 3 pear halves to each pot.
  • Turn heat to very low.  The liquid should barely be moving.  Poach for about 20 minutes or until soft, a knife should pass through easily.
  • While pears are poaching, put pecans in dry nonstick pan and toast lightly over low heat.
  • Add butter and cook for about 1 minute, then add sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Cook for 1 or 2 minutes and let cool on a plate.
  • When pears are done, put on a small sheet pan.  You may need to slice a little off of the bottom so they sit level.
  • Fill with crumbled blue cheese and candied pecans.
  • Hear in 325 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is just starting to melt.

These are great as either a first course or a healthier dessert.  You can arrange the pears on a buffet platter with the colors alternating; you could serve them with a simple tossed salad; or as a plated dessert with some of your favorite sugar cookies.


Jimmy Smith is the founder, co-owner, and VP of Love Catering, Inc. in Los Angeles, a full-service catering company to to the stars…and their hanger’s-on. For the past seven years, he has been a stay-at-home Dad and short-order cook for his partner and their seven year-old triplets here in Topsfield, MA. Yes, triplets…

Author Susan Currie is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Tishman Review, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through the creative and yoga workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, GRACENOTES (Shanti Arts 2017), a blend of words and images, is now available in wide release.