All this talk about pears made me really want to eat something with them in it. I don’t like pears usually but I want to use them in something I make next week for Thanksgiving. I found two recipes that sound appealing right now… one that is healthy and one that isn’t (yummy).
I don’t know much about pears so I looked up a little info on them.
Most pears are picked before they are ripe since, if they are left on the tree, they become mushy in the middle. Pears you select at the grocery store probably are not yet ready to eat. Purchase them several days in advance of when you want to eat them and leave them in a bowl for a day or two. They should be firm but ‘give’ a bit when ripe.
- The Bartlett is the variety most of us are familiar with – it has the classic ‘pear-shape’ and is green to yellow in color.
- The Anjou doesn’t conform quite as much to the shape, but is more oval or eggshaped. It comes in yellow and red varieties
- The Bosc is perhaps the most elegant looking, with a longer, more tapering top, and a brownish, sturdier skin. The Bosc is firmer – and crisper – when ripe than other pears, so it travels well.
- The Asian variety is now appearing in western supermarkets – they have abandoned the classic pear-shape altogether and are shaped like apples. Also like an apple, an Asian pear such as the Honsui stays crisp when ripe.
Healthy Recipe: Light and Easy Pear-Strawberry Trifle
This fruit laden dessert is easy to put together and can be made in minutes. It’s a beautifully mouth watering presentation and qualifies as an ode to spring in any one’s cookbook. USA pears are available through the spring, making it a perfect accompaniment to strawberries, tangy pineapple and fluffy angel food cake.
- 2 pared, cored, and thinly sliced Anjou or Bosc USA pears
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries
- 2 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, optional*
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ 9 inch angel food cake, cut to 1-inch cubes
- 3 cups vanilla or lemon flavored yogurt
- 1 cup diced fresh or canned pineapple, drained
Garnish: pear slices and mint sprigs.
Toss pears in lemon juice and strawberries in liqueur. Combine orange juice and honey, mix well. Layer a deep 2 to 2½-quart glass bowl in the following order: 1/3 of cake sprinkled with 1 tablespoon orange juice mixture, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup pear slices, 1 cup strawberries, and ½ cup pineapple; repeat. Layer remaining cake, sprinkle with remaining range juice mixture and spread 1 cup yogurt over top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours before serving. Garnish with pear slices and mint just before serving.
One-half teaspoon almond extract may be substituted.
Not So Healthy (Yum Yum Yum) Recipe: Pear Loaf Cake
This pear loaf cake recipe is a vanilla loaf cake made with butter and vanilla, along with chopped pears and brown sugar cinnamon streusel.
- 2 medium pears, peeled and cored, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 ounces butter, cold, cut in small pieces
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup chopped pecan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk, whole or low fat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 ounces butter, melted
Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°.
Toss chopped pears with lemon juice in a bowl; set aside.
In another bowl, combine streusel ingredients, except pecans, with a fork until crumbly, or pulse with food processor. Stir in pecans, if using.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir to blend.
Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until blended; stir in milk, vanilla, and butter. Add to flour mixture and fold with a wooden spoon or spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan; spread out to cover the bottom. Sprinkle batter with half of the pears and half of the streusel. Spoon remaining batter evenly over streusel, spreading carefully to cover. Sprinkle with half of the remaining streusel, the remaining chopped pears and then the remaining streusel.
Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife carefully around sides; invert the cake onto plate. Turn the cake, streusel side up, onto a rack and let cool on a rack completely.