Posted in Christmas, Recipes

Warm Maple Pear with Black Pudding & Crumbled Cranberry Wensleydale – Christmas Starter

Warm Maple Pear with Black Pudding & Crumbled Cranberry Wensleydale – A Christmas Starter


This is a Christmas Day starter that you could partly prepare the day before if you wish. If you cooked the pears and black pudding and refrigerate them, then reheat with a quick microwave blitz on the day, all you’ll have to do is assemble on a large platter for self-service, finishing off with crumbled cranberry Wensleydale.



Make it even more Christmassy with a garnish of walnut pieces – not pictured here because I’d run out!

Inspired by a friend of mine who described pears cooked in brandy I decided to make it more kid friendly by going with sweet maple syrup instead.

Crumbly black pudding, creamy cheese and sweet warm fruit make for mixed mouthfuls – one sweet another savoury – pure food heaven.

I’m thinking of having a second starter – this citrusy, mint, grape and melon one is so refreshing it will cleanse like a sorbet and it too can get prepared the day before.

For dessert I’m contemplating this black forest chocolate roulade however what’s putting me off is the storage nightmare.  Where will I put it until ready to consume? Would extra fridge rental be a good business idea for this time of year I wonder?  I really could do with one of those giant American fridges outside the back door plus a Nigella Lawson style pantry but just for a couple of weeks.  I couldn’t be keeping those stocked all year round.  Besides the storage nightmare I’m not looking forward to trolley wars & brussels sprouts panic very much either.  I am looking forward to my dinner though.  There will be brussels sprouts and there will be turkey.  Though not a whole one.  I’ve succumbed to turkey crown over the past few years, pre-prepared and pre-stuffed.  My kids aren’t that gone on turkey so we’ll do a moderately sized duck or goose as well but I have to have turkey and leftovers.  There shall also be a pineapple & brown sugar glazed baked ham and spiced beef (a Cork tradition) both cooked the day before. I’ve been warned to make plenty of stuffing and as I’d eat a stuffing sandwich for breakfast myself I have no problem making an abundance of it.  The shopping & storage will be the hard part but I can’t wait for the cooking and feasting part.  And the no cooking for at least 2 days afterwards while we empty the fridge!


Warm Maple Pear with Black Pudding & Crumbled Cranberry Wensleydale – A Christmas Starter

Serves 4
You will need:
2 ripe pears
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
Baby spinach leaves
Half a Black pudding
Wedge of cranberry Wensleydale cheese
Walnut pieces – optional
Peel the pears and chop into bitesize pieces removing the hard centre.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium to high heat in a small frying pan and add the pears.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium to high heat in another small frying pan and add chopped up black pudding.
Once the pears are warm add in 3 tbsp maple syrup mix well and reduce the heat to low until you are happy that the black pudding is sufficiently warm/cooked too.
Assemble baby spinach leaves on a large platter.
Scatter over the warm pear pieces and crumbled black pudding and then crumble the Wensleydale cheese with a fork and scatter on top.
Garnish with some walnut pieces (optional) and serve.
‘Til next time, Sheila