Pears are Massively Underrated -- These Recipes Show Why You Should Cook with Them
In Season: Pears' peak season begins in late summer and lasts through January. They are available year-round in many markets.
What to Look For: Pears vary in color depending on the variety, from green-yellow Comice and pink-blushed Bartletts to pebbly copper-brown Boscs. Choose pears that are firm with no soft spots or blemishes.
How to Store: Pears are unique in that they are best when picked unripe and then allowed to ripen off the tree. Choose hard pears and leave on a counter to ripen. A pear ripens from inside out, so check for ripeness at the thinner stem end -- the flesh should yield to gentle pressure. Once completely ripe, transfer pears to the refrigerator and use within two to three days.
Slow-Roasted Pear Chips
A low oven temperature does wonders for thinly sliced pears, turning them into crisp, addictive snacks that are delicious on their own or alongside some triple-cream cheese and toasted pecans.
Puff-Pastry Poached-Pear Pie
Come for the beautiful top crust and stay for the delectable poached pear filling. The fruit is simmered with white wine, sugar, cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla bean until tender and can be prepared up to five days ahead.
Sweet Bosc pears are nestled under a crunchy oat-almond topping in this oh-so-simple crisp. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla Yogurt and Caramelized Pears
Sugar and apple cider transform Bosc pears into rich, caramel-coated treats. Layered with vanilla seed-flecked yogurt, they make an elegant topping for a simple olive oil cake.
A topping of thinly sliced pears and jewel-like cranberries turns this custard tart into a showstopper.
Sausage Pear Stuffing
Pears add a welcome note of sweetness to this earthy stuffing chock-full of Italian sausage, herbs, and aromatics.
Coddled Pears in Whiskey
The most flavorful poached pears we've ever tried, thanks to the whiskey, vanilla bean, and orange zest in the poaching liquid! Serve chilled alongside scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with blackstrap molasses.
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork With Pears and Root Vegetables
Along with carrots and parsnips, pears make a deliciously sweet foil for braised pork in this hearty fall dish.
Pear and Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding
A layer of bittersweet chocolate hides underneath creamy layers of ripe pears and custardy brioche.
Pears and dried figs replace the usual apples in this fresh new take on the rustic dessert. Ground hazelnuts enrich the crust.
Pear-and-Lemon Pie with Pate Brisee Crust
Who needs apples? Pears make for excellent fall pies. Here the floral notes of pear are brightened by lemon juice and candied peel in this delicious dessert with a flaky pate brisee crust.
This intriguing alternative to mashed potatoes has no butter or cream; it gets its richness purely from fresh fall produce and a drizzle of olive oil.
Roasted Pears and Red Onions
A unique sweet-and-savory holiday side dish! A touch of sherry vinegar adds a slight tang, and the rosemary lends a woodsy note.
Sweet pears make a surprisingly delicious partner for earthy butternut squash in this pureed soup. Greek yogurt adds tang and gives it an extra velvety texture.
Pear, Oat, Cinnamon, and Ginger Shakes
If you freeze the pears in advance, these breakfast shakes come together in just 10 minutes. All you have to do is blitz the fruit with skim milk, buttermilk, raw oats, ice, maple syrup, almond butter, fresh ginger, and cinnamon in the blender.
Three-Tier Candied-Pecan Cake with Brown-Butter Pears
This impressive three-tier cake can be refrigerated for up to three days before serving. Just top with whipped cream before unveiling it to your guests.
Pear Tart Tatin
This rustic French dessert teams pears cooked in caramel with crisp puff pastry. The whole thing is baked in a skillet, so it goes from kitchen to table with ease.
Instead of using pastry dough as the base of this tart, stack sheets of phyllo to create a crisp crust that is still sturdy enough to support a nut-and-fruit topping.
Any variety of firm-ripe pears works in this recipe, but Anjou and Bartlett hold up especially well when cooked. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Pressed Ham and Pear Sandwiches
Give your ham sandwich a makeover with Gruyere cheese, sliced pear, and arugula. Toasting the sandwich until golden-brown makes it irresistible to adults and kids alike.
Mellow pears and fresh ginger are the scene-stealers in this applesauce variation.
Pear and Almond Butter
Upend your snack routine with this super easy combo of whole-grain bread, almond butter, and thinly sliced pear.
Steak and Pear Salad
Juicy pears, thinly sliced flank steak, and toasted pecans are tossed with peppery arugula and an easy dressing made with buttermilk, mayonnaise, and cider vinegar. The best part? The salad only takes 30 minutes to throw together.
Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears
Maple syrup sweetens the no-bake filling of this easy cheesecake. Brush thin slices of pear with more maple syrup and broil until caramelized to make the decorative topping.
Tart cranberries are mellowed by the addition of pears in this pie filling. An oatmeal-streusel topping adds sweet crunch.
Almond Torte with Pears and Whipped Cream
This flourless, lemony almond cake is incredibly light and moist. If you don't have a corer, use a teaspoon-size measuring spoon to core the pears.