August is pear picking time in South Georgia. And by the looks of things, my little pear tree appears to be overflowing with fruit. As such, my thoughts have turned towards pear recipes. With that said, here are my picks for the top five ways to eat pears in season:
Vanilla Poached Pears
One of my favorite ways to prepare in season pears is to poach them in vanilla. It is easy enough to do. In order to make vanilla poached pears, you’ll need a white dessert wine, granulated sugar and vanilla beans. Some folks also add zest from a lemon, an orange or a grapefruit to their poached pear dishes. The zest is said to add a bit of brightness to the dish. Personally, I tend to skip the zest. If you want to try the dish yourself, there are several great vanilla poached pear recipes online. Once the pairs are poached, you can serve them with vanilla ice cream, Greek yogurt or whipped crème. I like mine with the Greek yogurt.
Pear Panna Cotta
Pear panna cotta also makes my list of top pear dishes. In my opinion, when done right, pear panna cotta is a delightful way to end a late summer meal. Normally, I serve my pear panna cotta with sliced, poached pears but this year I may try something new. I found a recipe online for a pear panna cotta with a port wine gelee and I am itching to try it out. All that’s stopping me is a trip to the grocery store and some ripe pears. Right now my pears still have just a wee bit more ripening to do.
Pear and Apple Pie
Another one of my favorite ways to eat in season pears is to add them into an apple pie. Because it tends to get so hot here during the summer, I’ll usually wait and make my apple pear pie on a cool day in September. By then, baking apples are also generally more readily available at my local market. When it comes to the baking apples, I like to go with Granny Smiths because of their tart taste. I think that the tartness helps to counterbalance the sweetness of the pears.
Pear, Ham and Potato Casserole
If I am in the mood for a pear infused main dish, I’ll whip up a pear, ham and potato casserole. I happened onto my pear, ham and potato casserole recipe by accident last year. I was in the process of making an apple, ham and potato casserole when I ran out of apples. Instead of running out to the grocery store to buy more apples, I decided to use a few of my pears. It turned out well. You may want to try substituting in season pears in your next apple and pork casserole too.
Last but not least, I’d suggest that you consider using in season pears to create a muffin or a cake. I like making pear and granola muffins with the pears from my tree. There is a wonderful recipe for pear and granola muffins that appears on Martha Stewart’s website. It is one of my favorite pear muffin recipes. If you ask me, Martha Stewart’s granola crisp topping is what makes her pear muffins a stand out.
Killeen Gonzalez has a degree in hotel and restaurant management. She is a former party planner.
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