Is this not the perfect name for a holiday appetizer?
In addition to the parties lined up over the coming weeks, I’m happily anticipating the conclusion of my final semester of graduate school. In the middle of all the chaos of finals, prepping for the clinical rotations, and holiday travel, I also just ran my first 5k race. There’s plenty to celebrate.
My first 5K was the Winter Classic in Cambridge, MA, and it was a blast. Although I run consistently for fun, I’d never tackled a road race, so I was a little nervous going in to it. At a little over 3.1 miles, I was confident I’d be able to handle the distance, but it was the mass start and the drive to constantly push myself. I finished in just over 23 minutes, which I was excited about. I’m already looking forward to signing up for more. You definitely get bitten by the bug after your first one.
So, back to the drunken pears. As someone whose name starts at the beginning of the alphabet, I always get assigned to the appetizer group for potlucks, and I sometimes struggle figuring out what to bring. I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago when I thought the November Recipe Redux challenge was for holiday appetizers. It ended up that the real challenge was for vintage appetizers (or remakes of childhood favorites), but oh well. I’m glad I made this, and I’m looking forward to the next chance to make this again.
To make these little pouches, I diced some pears (which seemed like the just-right in-season winter fruit choice), simmered them until they started breaking down in a bit of Sauvignon Blanc and a hint of butter. Then smeared some fig preserves inside a small wonton wrapper and topped with a dollap of the pear mixture. If you’re up for it, adding a little goat cheese inside each pocket is a good idea, too.
The fig preserves are molten when you take these out of the oven, so be sure to give them enough time to come down to a comfortable temperature for eating. And this, I think, is what makes them such a good option for a party appetizer: they’re best served just above room temperature, so there isn’t any last-minute hustle to pull them out of the oven as guests arrive. Or you could make these at home and bring them to a friend’s house to have them just quickly warmed in the oven.
Drunken Fig and Pear Pockets
2 bosc pears
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white wine (e.g., Sauvignon Blanc)
3-4 Tablespoons fig preserves
Approximately 25 egg roll or wonton wrappers
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1. Halve the pears and remove the stems and cores. Chop into small 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the pears, cinnamon, and wine in a pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. The pears should become soft and start to breakdown, and the liquid should be almost entirely cooked off.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the wonton wrappers into 3×3 squares. Smear a layer of fig preserves in the center of each wrapper. Spoon a heaping teaspoon on top of the fig preserves. Using a small knife, spread a thin layer of olive oil around the edge of the wonton wrapper.
3. Fold the edge of the pocket over, keeping the filling in the center. Crimp the edges together with a fork. Transfer the pocket to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges and tops of the pocket start to brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. The fig preserves will become very hot, so be sure this has cooled to a comfortable temperature before eating.