‘Old Pear Tree Starlings Announce Harvest Time’ —Phil Noble

Dessert Wine Roasted Pears

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 80 minutes

Ingredients

4 semi-ripe pears

1/2 cup sweet, late-harvest dessert wine

2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1/5 cup toasted almonds

1/3 cup mascarpone or crème Fraiche

 

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 375 F with the center rack in position.

2. Peel, core and cut the pears in half lengthwise, then place them cut-side down in a buttered 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish.

3. Pour the dessert wine in the baking dish and drizzle a teaspoon of honey over each pear half.

4. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove dish from the oven and baste each pear with the syrup, tilting the dish for ease in collecting the liquid. Continue to bake another 15-20 minutes until the liquid cooks down to a glaze and the pears are very tender and toasty in color. Pears should be caramelized on the bottoms.

5. Turn off the oven, leaving the pears in until it’s time to serve them. The pears will brown further, and the liquid will continue to thicken. If the liquid has evaporated at serving time, add a few tablespoons of hot water to deglaze the pan, swirling to recreate the syrupy glaze.

6. Drizzle the glaze over each pear and top with mascarpone or crème Fraiche. Toss on some toasted almonds and enjoy this decadent dessert.

 

Honied and Roasted Pears with Crunchy Quinoa Nut Topping

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients

4 ripe, but firm pears

1/2 cup puffed quinoa

1/4 cup cocoa nibs

1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup Cocchi Americano

pinch of salt

1/2 cup honey and honey for serving

crème Fraiche

 

Preparation

1. Stir together the quinoa, cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, cinnamon and salt.

2. Combine the honey and Cocchi Americano and bring to a simmer in a small pan. Remove syrup from heat.

3. Peel the pears, ensuring the stems are left intact. Slice the pears in half and place them in a baking sheet with sides.

4. Pour the syrup over the pears and roast for 30-40 minutes. Baste the pears with more syrup occasionally, until they’re tender and caramelizing lightly around the edges.

5. Serve with crème Fraiche, honey and a scattering of the quinoa nut topping. Amazing!

 

The Beautiful, Healthy Fresh Pear

Serves: Everyone gets a pear!

Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes

It’s up to you. As elegant as the pear is when elevated in a dish, eating a fresh pear—skin and all—out of your hand is superbly underrated. Whether you slice it or directly sink your teeth into a super juicy, ripe pear, know that the delicate, sweet flavor is bolstered by the fact that this fruit is one of nature’s perfect foods, brimming with fiber and vitamins.

Many varieties of pears exist, and all are unique in shape, hue, season and taste. All you need to do is decide which suits your taste today. These are among the most popular of this delicate, lovely fruit that’s so easy to put on a pedestal.

+ Bartlett pears taste best after they’ve evolved from green to yellow. Prone to bruising, this super popular summer fruit is similar to the Red Bartlett except for the color.  

+ Anjou pears have a golden-green skin with a buttery sweet flesh and are in season from October to May.

+ Bosc pears are aromatic with a spicier flavor and a beautiful, dark golden skin with a long neck.

+ Asian pears resemble a round yellow apple with a taste reminiscent of a watermelon/potato fusion.

+ Forelles pears are small and speckled green fruits that turn yellow when ripe.

+ Seckel pears are red and green and perfect for snacking due to their small size.

+ Comice pears have thick, green skins but are soft and super juicy.

+ Starkrimson pears have narrow necks and a vibrant crimson color.  

It’s no secret that pears are best eaten when ripe, and pears are often hard when you buy them. Since pears don’t ripen well on trees, they are picked quite green. Have a little patience and kickstart the ripening process on those super firm pears with this unique mellowing trick.

Chill your Way to Mellow Pears  

1. Cool the pears in the refrigerator because they benefit from chilling after harvest. The earlier the better. Bartlett pears only need 1-2 days, but Anjou, Comice or Bosc varieties may require 2-6 six weeks depending on their firmness. Remove from the chilling process.

 2. Ripen to fruition on the kitchen counter, waiting around 4 days for Bartlett pears, 5-7 days for Comice and Bosc and up to 10 days for Anjou.

Shortcut! Eat your pears faster by placing them in a paper bag after the chilling process. The methane gas from a ripe apple or banana will also hasten the ripening process. Bon appétit!