Fall is the season for pears, and from cocktails to salads, we’re dishing on all the best ways to enjoy every last drop of the sweet bounty.
Perfectly ripe pears have no peers: sensuous with a quenching, dripping juiciness and perfumed, honey-buttery sweetness—like the last hurrah of summer's sunshine. Their texture, mealy in the best way, offers a slight give followed by a mouthwatering giving-in. The U.S. crop—grown mostly in Washington and Oregon—comes into full glory in October. If rotund, short-necked Comice is the Cadillac of the pear world, Anjou is the workhorse. Forelle (shown here) and Seckel are petite, fleeting beauties. Grab them while you can!
Impress friends over coffee, or perhaps received a standing ovation at the breakfast table, with this stunning loaf. It offers a clue to its interior surprise when it comes out of the oven, but when you cut into it, the real magic happens. It’s remarkably easy to make, too.
In this impressive tart, the flaky crust, crunchy caramelized sugar, creamy custard, and soft roasted fruit bring all the elements of a divine dessert. You can make all the components ahead of time, and brûlée the pears just before serving.
In this salad, sweet-earthy candied walnuts, bitter radicchio, juicy ripe Anjou pears, and salty capers contrast for delightful fall dish. Serve alongside any meal, and make a double batch of the sugared walnuts for gifts or sweet snacking.
Shred 1 medium Bosc pear; place pulp on several layers of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; squeeze over a glass measuring cup to yield 1/3 cup juice. Discard solids. Combine pear juice, 2 tablespoons citrus-infused vodka, 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sugar syrup) in a martini shaker with ice; shake. Strain about 3 tablespoons vodka mixture into each of 2 martini glasses. Top each serving with 1½ tablespoons hard apple cider or cidre doux. Garnish with pear slices. Yield: 2 servings. CAL: 156; FAT: 0.2g (sat 0g); SOD: 5mg
Combine 2 cups chopped red Anjou pear, 1/3 cup sliced kumquat, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon honey; let stand 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup sliced green olives, 3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots, 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper; toss. Yield: 12 servings (serving size: ¼ cup). CAL: 47; FAT: 2.4g (sat 0.3g); SOD: 105mg
Try this combination in Peppered Pork and Pears where ground mixed peppercorns give a slightly sweet, barely hot flavor to the pork and pear duo. Pear brandy adds an extra hit of pear essence, but if you don’t have it on hand you can substitute regular brandy or additional chicken broth.