Food Friday: Pears

15 10 2010

I grew up summers in Kentucky picking pears right off the tree in my Mamaw’s backyard. And each Christmas, we received a beautiful box of those famous golden-wrapped Harry & David pears from our pastor, Dr. Adrian and Joyce Rogers. You could eat them with a spoon. Perhaps it’s the fond memories that I associate with that crisp, sweet taste.

While there is a variety of pears available, I’d been eating the same kind for years, and have just recently “branched out” (pun intended), and found I prefer another variety. Try out all the different varieties. Since we’re still in the middle of a late summer-early fall pear season, you might wish to have a few friends over, track down as many different varieties as you can, and have a pear tasting party. What a healthy, delicious treat that would be! Be sure to serve some cheeses, crackers or bread, and a few crisp cordials alongside to round out the tasting. No matter which variety you select, choose ones that are fragrant, without any visible blemishes and firm, but not too hard. Remember to “check the neck” — feel the stem end, and you’ll want to choose one that is just slightly soft.

Storing

  • Refrigerate ripe fruit in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
  • If you just can’t wait, ripen up that firmer fruit at room temperature by placing it in brown paper bag with an apple or banana.

Using

  • Eat the pear with its skin on. After washing, the pear’s skin has some fantastic nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and calcium. Pears are even thought to have some pain-relieving and blood pressure lowering properties.
  • If you’re cooking with the pears however, you’ll want to look for firmer flesh. Peel the pear’s thin skin with a vegetable pealer or knife for cooking as the skin can toughen when heated.
  • After peeling, the flesh will discolor quickly, so dip cut pears in lemon juice or acidulated water.
  • Pear juice is an excellent fruit introduction to small children, as it’s most usually less allergenic than many other fruits.

Beautiful Pear Tart from Scarborough Seashells

Recipes

  • Pears are fantastic served in a salad. The go wonderful with ingredients such as walnuts, cranberries, honey, and gorgonzola cheese. Since it’s related to the apple, quince, and pomegranate, these flavors go beautifully together as well.
  • Start your day off right with some Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones. Pepper goes beautifully with the sugary, gritty texture of the pear. And, I’m obsessed with Pink Parsley, so you can be assured that anything she does will be delicious.
  • And for lunch? How about a warm and crispy Ham and Pear Sandwich with Spiced Butter. Sort of an upgrated version of the fall-time favorite grilled cheese.
  • And we can’t forget dessert! Pears are delicious enough to be served by themselves with a little ice cream, but turn them into a scrumptious Chocolate Pear Bake or Pear Tart, and
  • For something a little different, here’s a super easy recipe right out of my own cookbook:

Peppered Pear Soup

Blend 2 cups chicken broth with about 6 ripe pears (peeled, cored, and cut into chunks). Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon ginger and 1/4 ground pepper and blend on low increasing to high until smooth. Chill overnight so the flavors can mix and mingle. Serve with a little garnish of cream and dust again with freshly ground pepper.

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3 responses

15 10 2010
Suwannee Refugee

I’m a sand pear guy!

2 12 2010
Sweet Iced Tea’s Annual Gift Guide 2010 « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] those on your Christmas list will feel the same way when they receive a box of delicious gourmet fruit or other treats. May we recommend the Fruit of the Month Club? Healthy, decadent, and the gift […]

6 12 2010
A Partridge in a Pear Tree « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] not sure how many more times I can talk about my love for pears here, but a gift of a dozen Harry & David pears would be a healthful treat. Or perhaps your […]

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