Hola friends! Today I'm going to be sharing a few easy pear recipes with you. Yes, I said pear. And no, I did not mean pumpkin.
But why, you ask? Don't I know that its the beginning of October? And it is therefore the epitome of the over saturated, over sweetened pumpkin season? Yes and yes, I am aware.
Now I enjoy the flavors of fall as much as the next person. In fact, I relish in a good slice of pumpkin bread every once in a while and I get giddy over adding a little cinnamon and fresh nutmeg to my morning coffee during this time of year. Yet I long for the days of yore when these flavors were not so commonplace and when Starbucks did not announce the arrival of their pumpkin spice latte (or worse, the "PSL". Gag.) like the coming attractions at a movie theater.
Hence, I'd like to highlight another crop of the season that is often overlooked due to the trendy, aforementioned vegetable: the pear.
Starting in mid to late September, the fruit of the pear trees all across the South are beginning to turn ripe. And at our farmhouse in Aiken, South Carolina, we have more than we know what to do with. Now I freakin' LOVE pear preserves, but with a new baby, time for the canning process is not on my side (you other moms with multiple kids under three must be laughing at me for my lack of ambition). So to take advantage of the abundance of pears right outside my door, I've come up with a few quick and simple recipes to share. Bon appetite!
My Version of Pear Compote
three fresh pears, cored and cut into cubes
1/2 cup of golden raisins
approximately 1 1/2 cups sweet white wine, like a Riesling
four heaping tablespoons of white sugar
two teaspoons of ground cinnamon
one teaspoon of ground nutmeg
the juice of one lemon
Assemble all of the above ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 45 minutes, or until the pears are soft and the liquid has formed a light syrup. Stir into oatmeal for a sweet breakfast or top it with vanilla ice cream (shown here) for an easy dessert.
Rustic Pear Crostata
I'm taking a major shortcut with this recipe by not making my own pasty dough for the crust. My college-aged self would be so disappointed. However, if you want to do it the real way by making your own crust, I love using Giada de Laurentiis's way of making a simple dough. And because real butter is banned in our house (my fiancé thinks I'm trying to kill him every time I use it), I substituted with Smart Balance margarine. Believe it or not, it turned out perfectly!
one refrigerated, pre-made pie crust, unrolled and laid flat on a greased cookie sheet (I prefer to use Pillsbury's rolled pie crusts)
approximately six tablespoons of butter (or your choice of margarine), melted
approximately two pears, cored and sliced length-wise
approximately four tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Preheat the over to 400 degrees. Brush on about two tablespoons of the butter on the unrolled pie crust. Next, arrange the sliced pears on top of the pie crust in a fanned-out pattern, working from the outside in. Make sure to leave about an inch around edge of the crust. Once the center is filled with pears, top them with three tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of sugar, along with the cinnamon and the nutmeg. Then fold the edge of the crust on top of the pears, leaving the center open and crimping as you go. Brush on the remaining tablespoons of butter around the crust and sprinkle it with the remaining amount of sugar. Pop into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit center is nice and bubbly.
... as cooked and eaten by Katherine Hanson.