Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Pears are such an amazing winter fruit. The abundance of varieties available matches the many ways to serve them. Sweet or savory they are just wonderful. Here are some of my favorites!

Pear and Pomegranate Salsa

3 ripe but firm Pears, diced
1-cup pomegranate seeds
1 red onion, finely diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1/2-teaspoon lime zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

In a medium bowl, toss all the ingredients together. Serve with chips or over fish or chicken.

Pear and Butternut Squash Soup
(Vegetarians: omit the bacon. Sautee Veggies in 1-tablespoon olive oil and use Soymilk for the heavy cream.)
6 strips bacon, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups peeled butternut squash cubes
3 large pears, peeled, cored and cubed
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp thyme
1-cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh thyme for Garnish

Sauté bacon in a large stockpot until crisp; remove from pan, drain on paper towels and crumble. Remove all but 1-tablespoon bacon grease from pot; add onion and sauté over medium heat until browned. Add stock, squash, pears and celery to pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, and then with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor, puree mixture until smooth. Return back to pot and add thyme and bacon. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme

Roast Chicken with Pears
1 roasting chicken
1 Very ripe pear
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
Melted butter for basting

Peel the onions and slice them in thin circles. Separate them slightly and line them in a roasting pan. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry removing all the neck and liver. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper. Place the whole pear the garlic, rosemary and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the onions and baste with the melted butter. Roast at 425 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Pear Tart with Maytag Blue Crust
2 cups red wine
1-cup sugar
1-cup water
1 orange, halved
1lemon, halved
1-inch ginger, peeled
3 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
4 pears, peeled and cored
In a large soup pot place all ingredients except pears and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add pears. Poach until tender about 20 minutes. Remove from stove and cool completely. Refrigerate over night.
Pastry Cream-
1/3-cup sugar
1-cup cups milk
2 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup Butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a medium saucepan mix half the sugar to the milk and bring to a boil stirring constantly. In a medium bowl whisk together the rest of the sugar and cornstarch and yolks. Once the milk is boiling pour 1/4 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture into the rest of the milk mixture and return to the heat whisking until the cream thickens and comes to a complete boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla whisking until the butter completely melts. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic until it comes to room temperature.
3/4 cup all flour
1/4-teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crumbled Maytag Blue Cheese
Up to 4 Tablespoons ice water
1/4 cup raspberry jelly, melted
Place butter cut into tiny pieces (I use a grater) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are the size of rice. Add cheese. Sprinkle 1-tablespoon water over part of the flour mixture and stir very gently with a fork, Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat using 1 tablespoons of water at a time until all the dough is moistened. Roll dough into a ball wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Roll out to be 10 inches round. Place in a 9-inch tart pan sprayed with bakers joy. Bake in a preheated 350 oven until golden about 15 minutes. When cool spread the vanilla cream over the crust. Slice the pears and place them decoratively over the cream. Brush with raspberry jelly and refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

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