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Pears | from tree to table

by dig the dirt editor

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The rich perfume and exquisite sweet flavor of ripe pears heralds the end of the summer harvest season. Like apples, pears are fall fruits that can be stored for longer enjoyment than the fragile stone fruits of high summer.

 

 

 FROM TREE TO TABLE | PEARS

by Renee's Garden

 

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Pears of all kinds can be made into wonderful winter treats by canning halves in a honey or sugar syrup. Or make spiced pears with honey, vinegar and water syrup flavored with cloves, allspice and cinnamon.


Pear butter is truly ambrosial.

  • Make it by skinning and simmering chunks of pear until the consistency of apple sauce. Season the pear sauce with lemon zest and candied ginger, then pour into a deep oven proof casserole and bake down in the over at low heat (275 degrees) until it mellows and becomes dark, thick and delicious.

Drying pears is among the easiest ways to preserve them, especially for Bartletts which ripen quickly while the summer is still hot.

  • Slice in quarters and put on trays in a 140 to 160 degree oven until leathery but not brittle.

Poached pears are a simple, but elegant company dessert.

  • Carefully peel the pears and poach slowly for 8 to 12 minutes in a medium sugar syrup, flavored with lemon rind and a vanilla bean.
  • Cool in syrup, then place on individual plates and garnish with whipped cream and toasted almonds.

Pears also are fine additions to fall salads.

  • To make a beautiful lunch or brunch salad plate, try this sautéed pear salad. Cut ripe pears into ½ inch slices and dip in maple syrup and drain.
  • Sauté, stirring often, in a little butter or oil until slightly browned.
  • Lay the pears on a bed of crisp fall salad greens along with chopped crisp bacon and crumbled blue cheese.
  • Scatter toasted pecans over all and dress with a simple fruity vinaigrette.

Try any of your favorite apple crisp or apple crumble recipes with pears.

  • Make with half pears and half apples for a new twist on these easy sweets. The flavors of ginger or nutmeg, vanilla and lemon all work nicely in cooking sweet pear delights.


Pear varieties to enjoy include: Yellow Bartlett which are widely available, and a good all purpose fruit: buttery-green to yellow Anjou, a great tasting, late ripening favorite: yellow-green Comice, considered the best fresh eating pear with rich smooth, melting flesh: 'Moonglow,' a good yellow dessert and canning pear: Seckel, the small little "tree candy" pear, delicious eaten out of hand or canned in a spiced syrup: and, finally, Bosc whose copper-brown skins and crisp flesh mark this very fragrant and sweet large sized long keeper.

 

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