Halloween may be known as the candy holiday, but it’s also a great opportunity to get a little spooky with appetizers and cocktails. Nothing screams spooky season more than a Halloween cocktail, and this very dark red wine sangria is an easy crowd pleaser.
To pair with the sangria, try these goat cheese stuffed pears that bring in the flavor of fall. The sangria, which is dark because of the use of plums, is deliciously tart, and the savory, yet buttery, stuffed pears balance it out perfectly. Serve these two recipes at your next Halloween event for some deliciously spooky appetizers.
- 1 bottle Harry & David Pinot Noir (any red wine will do)
- ¼ cup brandy
- ¼ cup simple syrup
- 3 black plums (washed and sliced)
- 1 cup black grapes (washed)
- 8 ounces organic blackberries (washed, set a few aside for garnish)
- 2 Harry & David Royal Riviera pears (washed and sliced, set a few slices aside for garnish)
- 2 oranges (sliced)
- 1 cup sparkling water or ginger ale (use ginger ale for a sweeter sangria)
- Harry & David dried citrus (for garnish)
- Fresh fruit of your choice (for garnish – optional)
- Add all of the ingredients except the items used for garnish to a large pitcher and mix with a spoon. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours or overnight is best. The longer it sits the darker the sangria becomes.
- Serve chilled. Garnish with dried citrus and fresh fruit.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Pears with Cranberry Preserves
- Hand mixer
- ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Goat cheese filling
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 425˚ F. Cut each pear in half lengthwise. Hollow just the center of the pears with a melon baller or spoon. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pears hallow side down on the baking sheet. Bake 17-20 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together oats, walnuts, cinnamon, melted butter, and brown sugar until combined. Spread the oat mixture out on the prepared baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake at 425˚ F for 8-10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside and let cool slightly before breaking the oat crumble apart into pieces.
- In another small bowl, beat the goat cheese and honey with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Place a spoonful of goat cheese mixture into each baked pear. Spoon the cranberry preserves on top of the goat cheese mixture. Top each pear with a few spoonfuls of the toasted oat crumble. Drizzle with additional honey, if desired. Serve immediately.