Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Seasonal Eating: Easy Fall Pear Recipes

Luscious pears are in season right now. Bartlett, Comice, Bosc (pictured), and others are showing up in the produce section. Pears are a healthy and nutritious option for both sweet and savory dishes. Here are a few simple ways to prepare them.

For any of these recipes, begin by cutting the pear in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the core and seeds. Remove the stem and the blossom end. Add these trimmings to the compost bucket. The pears are now ready for cooking.

Pears Poached in Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
A strip of lemon peel about 1/2 by 3 inches
1 or 2 pears, unpeeled, prepared as described above

Combine all the ingredients except the pears in a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and immediately add the pear halves. Cover the pan and set aside to poach while the pan cools to room temperature. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Poached Pears with Fruit Preserves and Fake Cream Chantilly

Poached pear halves, from the above recipe
Fruit preserves, berry, cherry, or what you will
1/2 cup fat free Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh mint (optional), shredded

Set one of the pear halves, skin side down, in a serving dish. Fill the core cavity with preserves.

In a mixing bowl combine the yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth and slightly stiffened. Top the pears with the yogurt mixture and serve at once. Garnish with a little fresh mint, if you have some.

Pears Roasted in Vinegar

Raw pear halves, unpeeled, prepared as described above
2 tablespoons vinegar, preferably Champagne or Sherry

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour the vinegar in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Add the pears, skin side up. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Roast until the skins begin to wrinkle on top, about 20 minutes. If the liquid in the dish threatens to evaporate completely before the pears are done, add a little water. Test for doneness with the point of a kitchen knife, which should meet little resistance when inserted into the neck of the pear. Remove the dish from the oven and keep warm.

Serve the pears as a side dish, dribbled with a little of the juices from the baking dish.

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