This sophisticated, sweet and savory dip is great for cocktail parties (not to mention so easy to make!). Red Anjou pears are versatile and can be used like other pear varieties. They have a firm texture that holds its shape well and a great balance of sweet and tart. Pears and goat cheese are a beautiful combination. Youre in for a treat! 

Recipe Development and Photography: Williams-Raines

YIELD: 6 appetizer-sized portions

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots (about 8 apricots), plus extra for garnish 
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 3 Red Anjou pears 
  • 8 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed

 METHOD  

  1. Place the dried apricots in a heat-proof bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let soften for 10 minutes, then drain well.
  2. Measure out 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and set aside. Add the remaining lemon juice to a large bowl of water (about 3 cups).
  3. Core and slice the pears, then place slices in the lemon water to keep them from browning. Set aside. (Note: Youll need to drain the slices and pat them dry with a tea towel just before serving)
  4. In a food processor, add the goat cheese, cream cheese, remaining teaspoon lemon juice and cinnamon and process until smooth.
  5. Add the soaked apricots and pistachios and process until the fruit and nuts are incorporated but the mixture is still slightly chunky. Add the fresh mint and pulse until the mint is incorporated.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with the warm honey. Serve with the sliced pears, and garnish with additional pistachios, mint and apricots.
  7. Dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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