When we think of fruit flourishing in the fall, apples generally comes to mind first. But pears? They get pushed aside a bit… but are so delicious and versatile, the reasons why are unfathomable.
Pears are an excellent source of fiber (5 grams per pear!), are rich in vitamins C and K, and contain just 96 calories.
Here are the most common–and how to enjoy them.
Both Anjou pears, along with Red Anjou pears, are sweet and mild, with a firm texture. They are delicious for both cooking, as well as snacking and eating out of hand.
Best for eaten raw, Asian pears are very crisp, and delicious both for eating out of hand, as well as in slaws and salads.
Juicy and sweet, Bartlett and Red Bartlett pears hold up well for baking, since they don’t lose their shape. They are also perfect for eating out of hand at their peak of ripeness.
The brown-colored skin of a Bosc pear adds a little texture, making them yummy for snacking. Similar to Bartlett pears, they hold up well for cooking and baking, without losing their shape.
Comice pears are sweet and fruity and fine in texture. They break down in baking so are best for eating out of hand.
The crisp and dense flesh of Concorde pears make them perfect for cooking. With a hint of vanilla, they are excellent in pear sauce and pear butter recipes.
If you’re looking for a super sweet pear, Forelles are the ones to find. Small and dense, they are easy to eat and are excellent additions to cheese and fruit trays.
Smooth and juicy, french butter pears are similar to Forelles in the way of serving with cheese, fruit, and in desserts.
The smallest of the commercially grown varieties, Seckel pears are sweet in flavor and ideal for eating out of hand.
With their beautiful crimson red color that darkens as they ripen, Starkrimson pears have a smooth flesh, sweet flavor, and subtle floral aroma, and are ideal in salads and for snacking.
Sweet, juicy and tender, Taylor’s Gold are excellent for eating out of hand, but break down in baked goods, so raw is best.
Easy Maple-Cider Poached Pears
A simple, but elegant, dessert that takes moments to prepare and guaranteed to please.
Makes 6 servings
2 cups water
1 cup apple cider
1 cup pure maple syrup
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
6 firm ripe pears, with stems, peeled (leave the stems intact), and cored through the bottom
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
In large saucepan, bring the water, apple cider, maple syrup, cloves and cinnamon stick to boil. Insert the pears in the water mixture, standing upwards. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Cool the mixture, with the pears inside of it, for 2 hours.
When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to plates; set aside. Discard cloves and cinnamon from the water mixture. Bring the liquid back to a boil, and cook down until it reduced to 1 cup.
Evenly spoon syrup over pears. Add scoop of ice cream to each plate, adding additional syrup over the ice cream. Serve immediately.