Fall is officially here and with cooler weather, it’s a great time to start baking all those favorites our family and friends love to be presented with. Once again, my father-in-law has offered to me delicious pears, ready to be hand picked, from his backyard pear tree. With all the fruit this tree continues to bear, I am thrilled to start planning just how to utilize this fresh fruit for serving and gifting.
You can replace pears in lots of recipes that you would normally use apples. I don’t know how many times I’ve made a pear pie and friends think its apple pie. Well, they are cousins after all!
If you like making pies and want less crust, try making a crostada (a rustic Italian tart). However you may enjoy this perfect fall fruit, here are some ideas for you to do just that!
8 cups assorted mixed salad greens
2 fresh pears, cored and sliced
½ red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup walnut halves
½ cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese
Top salad greens with pears, onion, walnuts and cheese. Top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, to taste. Toss to coat.
½ c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour, sifted
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 c. plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 ½ cups pears, peeled and coarsely chopped
Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately to the first mixture with yogurt. Stir in pears. Pour into loaf pan that has been sprayed with Pam and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool, remove from pan and let sit 6 hours before slicing.
(Note: If preparing mini muffins, bake for 20 minutes.)
Chocolaty Poached Pears
6 ripe pears with stems, pared
2 cups water
3 strips lemon peel
1 ½ t. vanilla
¼ cup margarine
1/3 cup sifted cocoa
1/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup sugar
In saucepan, large enough that pears can stand upright, combine water, lemon peel and vanilla; bring to a boil. Add pears; reduce heat, cover simmer 25 to 30 minutes, until tender; baste often.
Remove pears, chill. Discard poaching liquid. In a small saucepan melt margarine; remove from heat, stir in cocoa until smooth (about 1 minute). Return to heat; gradually stir in milk. Gradually add sugar, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
To serve, spoon chocolate sauce onto 6 dessert plates. Place pear in center of each plate.
6 to 8 large pears, peeled and sliced
½ to ¾ cup sugar
2 T. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 pie crust
Mix pears, sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl. Place pie crust in 9 inch pie pan. Pour prepared pears in pie crust and dot with butter. Fold over outer rim of crust. There will be a nice hole in the center.
Bake at 475 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden.