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Pears may not always get the spotlight, as their season overlaps with apple season. But pears are very versatile and yummy. We have available a few different kinds of pears including bosc, bartlett and asian pears. The first two varieties are a 'typical' pear shape, but asian pears look a little more like apples, but are my favorite!

STORAGE: If you bite into the pear and it seems too hard it is because it isn't ripe yet. I like Asian Pears a little harder than other pears though. If you want them to ripen more, keep in paper bag on your counter. Eat them as they become ripe or store in refrigerator.

QUICK IDEAS: Slice and place on a cheese plate; slice into a salad with feta; add to apples to make applesauce

Harvest Pear Crisp with Candied Ginger: Serves 8-10
from Bon Appetit 2009

1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick oats!)
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup cubed crystallized ginger

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 lbs ripe pears (about 6 to 7 pears), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1) Whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl.
2) Add butter. Working quickly rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form.
3) Stir in oats, almonds, and ginger.
4) Chill while preparing filling.
5) For the filling: preheat oven to 350. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in bowl.
6) Add pears and toss.
Transfer to 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Sprinkle topping over pear mixture.
7) Bake until topping is crisp and golden and juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.

Pear Chips
from Martha Stewart September 2014

1) Very thinly slice firm, underripe pears lengthwise with a mandolin or sharp knife and place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet(s).
2) Bake in pre-heated oven 225 for 1 1/2 hours. 
3) Flip slices and continue baking until darkened slightly, 1 to 1/2 hours.
4) Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
5) Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
**Can also be done in a dehydrator.
***For some added umph generously brush pear slices with maple syrup before baking.
Serve by themselves or with a cheese plate.

Easy Fruit Dip
from Martha Stewart September 2014

1) Sprinkle sliced fruit with cinnamon.
2) Stir lime or lemon zest and agave syrup into plain yogurt (whole, greek or low-fat will work)
3) That's easy enough!

Pear Fruit Leather

2-3 pounds of fresh pears
1 tsp. sea salt
Spices, to taste (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)
Sweetener, to taste (raw honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.)

1) Prepare the fruit: de-seed pears, and cut into pieces.
2) Cook in a pot over medium heat with a little bit of water. Cook until fruit breaks down.
3) Process the fruit in a blender, food processor or through a food mill until the mixture is smooth.
3) Mix in the salt, spices and sweetener, to taste.
4) Line dehydrator trays (or baking sheets if using the oven) with sheets of unbleached parchment paper or Paraflexx/Teflexx.
5) Spread the fruit mixture evenly on the sheets. If the mixture is too thin, strain it through a tea towel or tight weave cheese cloth to thicken it up. 
6) Set your dehydrator (or oven) for 135 degrees and allow the fruit leather to dry for 8-24 hours. The exact length of time will depend on the thickness of the mixture, so be sure to check on it regularly.
7) The fruit leather is done when it is no longer sticky.
8) If using Teflexx sheets, peel off and place on parchment, aluminum foil, or paper. Then roll it up to store. If using parchment paper, simply roll it up once it is cool enough. 
9) Store in fridge for lasting freshness.