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Use up an abundance of pears

By on September 2, 2009

pear harvest

Pears make a beautiful natural display when placed in a fruit bowl as they ripen. They’re a great source of fiber and are delicious eaten out of hand or blended into smoothies. Fresh pears don’t freeze well until cooked or processed. So if you have more than a few, they can be incorporated into spreads, cakes, breads or preserves. Pickyourown.org has a wonderful pictorial on how to make pear butter (www.pickyourown.org/pearbutter.htm), and the following recipes can help you use up the rest. Enjoy!

Fruit-Spice Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled and pureed
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to simmer, and stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Spoon over a block of cream cheese, and serve with assorted crackers or bagels. Or use on deli-style sandwiches, English muffins or toast as a spread or stir into yogurt or cottage cheese. — Maggie H., Indiana

Pear Bread

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup olive oil
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 medium-sized pears, peeled and shredded
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all, and mix until just moistened. Spoon evenly into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 F for 75 minutes or until done in center. Cool and remove from loaf pans. — Kim, Florida

Pear Coffeecake

2-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup cooking oil
2 cups chopped ripe pears
1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Topping
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together flour, sugars, salt, nutmeg and oil. Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping. Add 2 cups of chopped ripe pear to the remaining above mixture. Add egg, buttermilk, baking soda and baking powder. Topping: Add ginger and pecans to 1 cup of reserved mixture. Spread in greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle on topping. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. — Peggy L., New York

Pear Honey

3 pounds fresh pears, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
5-1/2 cups sugar
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large stainless-steel pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer 40 minutes. Spoon into sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space, and add lids. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve on biscuits, toast, pancakes, ice cream or angel-food cake. — Becky B., Michigan

photo by kamstrup

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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns Castalia Coffee Roasting Company, Follow me on Twitter

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