Baked Stuffed Pears

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Tangy cranberries, walnuts, ginger, and cinnamon complement the sweet and spicy Bosc pear. Perfect for baking, Bosc pears hold their elegant shape.

Ingredients              
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 Bosc USA Pears
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Cut each pear lengthwise, scoop out the core with a melon baller, and expand the opening to about 1 ½ inches.

In a small bowl, blend the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Mix in the walnuts, cranberries, and ginger. Spoon the filling into the centers of the pears. Place the filled pears in a baking pan just large enough to hold them snugly.

In a small bowl whisk together the honey, water, and lemon juice. Pour around the pears in the baking dish.

Bake until the pears are tender when pierced, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and serve with the pan juices.

prep time: About 20 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
yield: Serves 6

Recipe developed by Amy Sherman.

Pear-Stuffed French Toast

pear_stuffed_french_toast-sm-SQButtery Comice pears are generally not used in cooking, but create a custardy rich filling in this luscious stuffed French toast. Using cinnamon swirl bread adds plenty of spice and a hint of sweetness. Recipe developed by Amy Sherman.

Ingredients
4 slices cinnamon swirl bread, 1 inch thick
1 ripe Comice USA Pear
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Maple syrup or powdered sugar

Directions 
Using a sharp bread knife, cut a pocket in one end of each slice of bread. The pocket should leave a border of about one inch from the sides of the bread.

Peel the pears, cut in half and core them. Working over bowl, use a knife or the vegetable peeler to cut the pear into very thin strips. Spread open the pocket in the bread and fill it with pear slices using a butter knife.

Transfer stuffed bread to a baking dish large enough to hold all the slices in a single layer. In a medium bowl, beat together milk and eggs and pour over the bread. After 5 minutes, flip the bread and using a fork, prick the bread to help it absorb the liquid. Repeat. Allow the bread to absorb all the liquid, about 15 minutes.

Melt butter on non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Fry the French toast in two batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with maple syrup or dust with powdered sugar.

prep time: About 20 minutes
cooking time: 6 minutes
yield: Serves 4

Pear Clafouti

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You can make this custardy French dessert using only the blender and a toaster oven. A splash of rum or brandy accentuates the flavors of the pears.

Ingredients
Bartlett USA Pears, peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons rum or brandy
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
⅓ cup flour
Powdered sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the core and the stem from each pear half. Cut each in lengthwise slices ¼- to ½-inch thick and fan the slices out, keeping them attached at the stem end. Arrange the sliced pear halves in a non-stick or greased 9-inch pie plate with the stem ends pointing toward the center of the pan. Pour the rum or brandy over the pears.

In a blender, combine the sugar, eggs, cream, milk, and flour and blend until smooth. Let batter rest for 10 minutes then tipping the pie pan slightly, drain the liquor into the batter and stir. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet to catch any spills, and pour the batter over the pears. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake until the clafouti is puffed and brown in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

prep time: About 20 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
yield: Serves 8

Recipe developed by Amy Sherman.

German Pancake with Caramelized Pears

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This large pancake puffs up in the oven but quickly deflates. Anjou pears hold their shape beautifully and add plenty of flavor to this breakfast entrée.

Ingredients              
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
3 Anjou (Red or Green) USA Pears, peeled, cored, and sliced, about 3 cups
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
Powdered sugar

Directions 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs then add the milk, flour, vanilla, and salt. Continue whisking until batter is smooth.

Melt the butter in a cast iron or ovenproof 10-inch skillet. Add the pears and cinnamon and cook, stirring gently, until the pears begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pears will still be somewhat firm.

Pour the batter evenly over the top of the pears. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the edge of the pancake begins to turn brown and puffs, about 15 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and sift powdered sugar on top using a sifter or fine mesh strainer. Slice into quarters and serve immediately.

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: About 25 minutes
yield: Serves 4

Recipe developed by Amy Sherman.

Pear and Pumpkin Snack Cake

pear and pumpkin snack cake

With whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree, and sweet and juicy USA Pears, this snack cake is a unique treat for boxed lunches or weekend gatherings.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-½ cups peeled, cored and diced firm, ripe USA Pear, preferably Bosc
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter cut in ½-inch pieces
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup pumpkin puree
⅓ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add diced pears and sauté until they begin to brown slightly around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon and continue to cook until golden brown and lightly translucent, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than pea-sized. Measure out ⅔ cup and set aside.

Whisk pumpkin, sour cream or Greek yogurt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, and baking soda together. Add to remaining dry mixture in mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well to incorporate.

Pour batter into pan and evenly distribute caramelized pears over the top in a single layer. Cover pears with reserved dry mixture.

Bake until golden brown and pulling away slightly from the edges of the pan, about 75 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack 20 minutes before running a knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen.

preparation time: 30 minutes
bake time: 75 minutes
yield:  Makes 6 to 8 servings

Cheddar Pear Scones

Cheddar Pear Scones

These crumbly buttery scones studded with tender pears are a beguiling sweet and savory breakfast treat. Best served immediately or reheated the next day.

Ingredients
1 peeled, cored and diced Bartlett or Green Anjou USA Pear, about ¾ cup
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, preferably white
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and blend using a pastry blender or two butter knives. Add the cheese, milk, and egg and stir until the dough begins to come together, then add the pears.

Generously flour working surface and place the dough on top. Sprinkle the dough with flour and pat into a 7-inch circle. Cut circle into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to a non-stick or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Allow at least 2 inches between each scone.
Bake until firm and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

prep time: About 15 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes
yield: Serves 6

Recipe developed by Amy Sherman.

A Seasonal Salad from Hilary Finch Hutler

I’m pleased to introduce a brand-new contributing blogger here at The Pear Dish, personal chef and recipe writer Hilary Finch Hutler. Read on for a quick Q-and-A with Hilary and her first recipe, a gorgeous end-of-summer salad!

Hilary oysterWelcome, Hilary! Tell us about yourself.
I am a personal chef and recipe writer here in Portland, Oregon and I blog at tummyrumblr.com. I grew up in Eugene and worked in many restaurants as well as on a produce farm. Naturally, I fell in love with all of the produce that Oregon has to offer.

 

How did Tummyrumblr start?
After several years of working as a personal chef, I stopped relying on recipes and started cooking based more on intuition and seasonality. I realized that I had been creating recipes for years but that I hadn’t been writing anything down. Tummyrumblr is a place to keep and share my favorite recipes. I have amassed almost 200 recipes there over the last 5 years.

How have you grown your passion for food and recipe development? Who do you cook/plan for besides yourself?
I think Western Oregon is the perfect place to be a chef. We get to experience all of the seasons, but we lack a deep, cold winter. This means we have a very long growing season, and with the exception of a few months there is new produce sprouting up constantly. There is always a new ingredient to cook with, and a new recipe to be tried, so it’s easy to stay interested in cooking.

At work, I cook for a family of five with wildly diverse food preferences. They keep me on my toes! At home I keep it simple. Locally raised meats, Pacific fish and shellfish, eggs, vegetables and fruits.

What’s the best dish you’ve ever eaten?
I was a vegetarian for about seven years. When I entered culinary school a chef said to me, “You really ought to think about tasting some of the meat we will make, because if you don’t, you will be missing out on a big piece of what you can learn here.” A few weeks later, I tried a bite of grilled lamb chops. I had never eaten lamb that I knew of, and I never looked back. Grilled lamb is still one of my favorite things.

What’s your favorite thing about pears? Favorite pear variety?
Pears have such incredible variety in color, shape, and flavor. My goal as a recipe writer for USA Pears is to create recipes that will highlight the individual characteristics of the different pears, and for me that is a really exciting challenge! My current favorite pear is Starkrimson. They are all over the farmer’s markets and grocery stores right now and they are stunningly beautiful!

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IMG_0108Red Bartlett, Sweet Corn, and Strawberry Salad

This is the perfect salad to honor the arrival of the early-ripening Red Bartlett pear. This sweet and juicy pear makes a delightful and colorful side dish when combined with summer corn, tart strawberries, and fresh basil. Serve this salad with any type of grilled meat or fish – I chose a simple fillet of salmon, but barbecued chicken or pork chops would also make a wonderful pairing. Be sure to grab the ingredients for this beautiful salad before they’re gone!

Ingredients
4 Red Bartlett USA Pears, medium dice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ears sweet corn
1 pint strawberries, medium dice
20 fresh basil leaves
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Place diced pears into a large bowl and toss gently with the lime juice. Place a medium pot of water on the stove to boil. In the meantime, shuck the corn and cut the kernels off of each cob with a sharp knife. Once the water is boiling, slide all of the corn into the pot and cook for one minute. Transfer the corn in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and set aside to drain. Stack the basil leaves into two piles of ten each. Roll each pile up from the base like a cigar and slice into ⅛-inch strips. Unfurl into a pile of perfectly sliced basil. Add the corn, diced berries, sliced basil, and salt to the bowl with the pears and toss together gently. Serve the salad immediately.

prep time: 15 minutes
yield: 4 – 6 servings

Cheers to Wine and Pears

Last weekend, some of us here at Pear HQ drove out to the lovely valley of Hood River to sample pears at the Columbia Gorge Wine & Pear Fest. As you and I both know, pears and wine are BFFs. They’re meant for each other from the start: they even grow in the same area and climate.

We sampled Green and Red Anjou pears to eager attendees, teaching them how to “Check the Neck” for ripeness so that they can enjoy pears at their sweet and juicy peak at home. Whether they were drinking Pinot Gris or a red blend, hard cider or Syrah, wine aficionados agreed that pears and grapes are a match made in heaven. (Which is what some visitors call Hood River, not incidentally.)

Some of our pear growers joined us to sing the praises of their favorite fruit, even getting in on the action with some sweet (temporary) tattoos!

Thirsty for more? Check out our custom pear, wine, and cheese pairings!

Pear Excellence 2013

This year’s Pear Excellence Culinary Student Competition was another pear-fect success, with talented culinary students from across Canada showing off their flair with the pear for a panel of esteemed judges. Held in Toronto in April, the contest celebrated its sixth year. Culinary students Diego Beltran, Rebekah Roberts, Allegra Jimenez, Connie McKibbon, and Aaron Lackie faced off for the National Grand Prize, showcasing pears in dishes savory and sweet, from gluten-free chocolate chai cake to grilled flatbread. The judges chose Allegra’s “Pearfect Pearing” dish for the grand prize. The dish paired a savory cheesecake with poached Bosc pears, pear chips, and a candied beet salad for a plate the judges said was innovative, well-executed, and an exceptional blending of flavors.

All the regional finalists were applauded for their creativity and execution. Their dishes truly put USA Pears on a pedestal:

  • “The Pearfect Pearing,” Allegra Jimenez, National Grand Prize Winner, Regional Winner – Vancouver
  • “Pear and Black Thai Rice Cakes with Pear Sage Pesto,” Connie McKibbon, People’s Choice Winner, Regional Winner – Ontario
  • “Trout Ceviche with Pear Blini,” Diego Beltran, Regional Winner – Quebec
  • “Pear and Bison Grilled Flatbread,” Rebekah Roberts, Regional Winner – Prairies
  • “Pear Cake Delight,” Aaron Lackie, Regional Winner – Maritime

To view the winning recipes and photos of the finalists” culinary creations, click here.

(Parlez-vous francais? Cliquez ici.)

Little Green Pouch: Pear and Kid Approved!

I love pears for lots of reasons, but I’m especially fond of their widespread appeal. It’s fun to be able to strike up a conversation with almost anyone about pears—my grandpa, a kindergartner, the cashier at my grocery store. They’re just so lovable!

Pears are especially kid-friendly. They’re a hypoallergenic food, and with their soft texture, they’re easily pureed into sauce, smoothies, and soups. I recently received a complimentary pack of Little Green Pouches, a reusable food pouch like those you’ve seen popping up at Starbucks and grocery stores near you. This ingenious little food pouch is the perfect vehicle for pureed pears. I sent the pack to my sister, Aubrey, who offered to test the Little Green Pouch with her sidekick and babysitting charge Ellie.

Ellie, 2, was an instant fan of the combo. Here’s Aubrey’s report:

Aubrey: “Ellie, what do you think of the green pouch? Do you like it?”
Ellie: “Yeah! It’s really cool, Aubrey!”
I asked Ellie how she liked the pear yogurt mixture.
Ellie: “It tastes like ice cream and vanilla and pears!”

I went to pour more mixture into the green pouch over the sink and she frantically yelled at me to not pour it down the sink and to save it in the fridge for later.

She was very satisfied with the pouch and pears!

Recipe:

½-1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 pear

Pear and quarter the pear and boil in water until soft.
Mash it into the yogurt and serve!

Check out the Little Green Pouch website for pouch-friendly recipes and more information.