Posts Tagged ‘fall produce’

This Just In… Fresh Pears!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The coming of fall brings fresh pears to our markets.  Highly versatile, I love eating them as a snack or chopping them up for a salad – they add a touch of juicy sweetness and are the perfect accompaniment to stronger flavored cheeses such as gorgonzola or goat cheese (tossing them with a

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bit of orange or lemon juice keeps them from browning).  Pears are delicious roasted, baked in a rustic galette for dessert or tossed with apples, plums and berries for wonderful crisps and compotes.  And poached pears are a treat for breakfast.

Bartletts have smooth, juicy flesh and are excellent for canning, poaching or eating plain.  When ripe, their skin turns bright yellow.  Red Bartletts are similar to the regular Bartlett, but are bright red when ripe and add color to salads and are delicious cooked.  Anjou have a spicy taste and are best eaten fresh.  Red Anjou may be eaten fresh or baked.  Bosc pears have a distinctive long, tapered neck and golden brown skin.  They are perfect for poaching, roasting, broiling or grilling.

Choose pears that are firm, well-shaped, and free of bruises.  Allow a few days for pears to ripen in a brown bag at room temperature.  When ripe, a pear will yield slightly to gentle pressure near the stem.  Store ripe pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator.  Pears bruise easily and should be handled gently.

Poached Pears

Peel, halve and core 1 large pear.  Combine 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, one 3-inch piece cinnamon stick, and one 3-inch piece lemon rind in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil; add pear halves and cover.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 minutes or til pear halves are tender.  Remove pear halves with a slotted spoon.  Serve as a salad with greens, drizzled with Neufchatel thinned with orange juice and garnished with chopped nuts or as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream sprinkle with cinnamon.  Serves 2