Pears Are Massively Underrated—These Recipes Show Why You Should Cook with Them


How come pears don't get more attention? They're delicious in so many dishes and boast more fiber, potassium, and folate than apples. Our favorite pear recipes, from soups to salads to main courses and plenty of desserts, let the versatile fruit really shine.

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"A good pear is well worth eating," said a gentleman dining alone in a restaurant one evening, as the waiter watched him carefully peel a ripe pear, the skin spiraling gently to his plate. Next, he sliced it and speared it with a fork. Juice dripped. The perfect dessert. There is a secret to eating pears, and it is deprivation. Not the suffering kind, but the seasonal kind. Pears ripen from late summer through fall; go pear-less until then, wait until they are perfectly ripe, and you will understand this fragrant and versatile fruit.

Pears are hard when they arrive at market because they ripen off the tree, from the inside out. Apply thumb pressure at the stem end of a pear to test for ripeness: When it's ready to be enjoyed, it will yield. There are many varieties of pear, each with their own shape, color, texture, and character. Treat yourself, and plan a pear tasting (perhaps with a side of palate-cleansing cheese).

There are countless ways to enjoy this late-season fruit. While dessert is probably your first thought (which does make sense, especially because the possibilities for using this fruit in sweet applications are endless), pears are also fabulous in salads and soups, on sandwiches, as warm appetizers and savory snacks, and as an element in your entrée. The success lies in the pairing (ahem) of ingredients that complement the pear or that are brought into delicious focus by its presence. We have collected our best pear recipes here to give you a taste of pear season and to inspire your next kitchen adventure. Happy cooking!

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Red Wine Poached Pears

Bryan Gardner

If you make just one pear dessert, let this luscious French bistro classic be it. Choose statuesque Bosc pears if you can, since their shape holds up to the slow poaching. The red wine and cassis transform the white-fleshed pears into garnet-red beauties.

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Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Loin with Pears and Root Vegetables


Luxuriously soft braised pears add necessary moisture and contrast to the salty and crisp intensity of pancetta-wrapped pork loin, in this cool-evening comfort food.

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Scones with Pears, Irish Cheddar and Honey

Scones with Pears, Irish Cheddar, and Honey
Yuki Sugiura

Pears with cheese are divine. The only thing more divine is sandwiching them in fresh scones with good honey! We like the sharp prickle of Irish cheese with the juicy fruit.

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Slow-Roasted Pear Chips

Aaron Dyer

Easy pear chips are the answer to the gluten-free eater's nemesis: the cracker. Slow-dried pear slices are delicate platforms for toppings from cheese and ham to sour cream and salmon roe.

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Coddled Pears with Whiskey

Martyn Thompson

In this decadent dessert the bold flavors sing. Whiskey and orange zest, black strap molasses, and ice cream will make you sit up and beg for more.

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Pear and Cranberry Tart

Aya Brackett

For a seasonal celebration, combine fall's pears with the first cranberries in this delectable tart.

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Pears with Goat Cheese and Pomegranate

Ryan Liebe

For a quick, healthy, and gorgeous party platter, hollow out sweet pears, stuff them with whipped goats' cheese, drizzle them with honey, and shower them with a handful of glossy pomegranate seeds.

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Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Yogurt

olive oil cake caramelized pears

Exceptionally moist with olive oil and yogurt and topped with pears that have been caramelized in cider with sugar, this velvety winter cake is sure to become a seasonal favorite.

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Gingerbread Trifle with Cognac Custard and Pears


How does one make trifle even better? Make it with gingerbread and warm pears that have caramelized in spiced butter. This is a rich and show-stopping dessert to round off a holiday meal.

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Butternut and Pear Soup

Johnny Miller

Winter squash and pears make for a velvety soup whose natural sweetness is offset by a healthy dollop of sharp yogurt.

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Pear Crisp

pear crisp
Bryan Gardner

Sweet Bosc pears are nestled under a crunchy oat-almond topping in this oh-so-simple crisp. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Endive and Pear Salad with Oregon Blue Cheese

Endive and Pear Salad with Oregon Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts
Earl Carter

Crisp, slightly bitter endive and ripe pears with tangy blue cheese are a timelessly good idea. Richly flavored sherry vinegar and hazelnut oil (in addition to the crunchy nuts) elevate this brasserie-style salad into one where you will lick the plate.

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Baked Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone

Baked Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone
Earl Carter

Baking pears concentrates their flavor, and this rustic pear dessert cooks itself while you attend to life. It's mouthwatering and warming, with lashings of mascarpone and a flurry of crumbled biscotti.

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Sausage and Pear Stuffing

Marcus Nilsson

This standalone, one-dish meal is fragrant with onions and leeks, fennel and celery, rosemary and sage, and the sweetness of autumn's best pears. Use good artisanal bread and your favorite pork sausages. Who needs turkey?

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Pressed Ham and Pear Sandwiches


What's better than a sandwich? A pressed sandwich, weeping warm Gruyère cheese. Add slices of sweet pear, good, salty ham, and lick of mustard heat, then squeeze.

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Pork with Pears and Parsnip Mash

David Malosh

A pillow of buttery mashed potatoes with parsnips is the best bed for browned pieces of seared pork in a pan-gravy fragrant with shallots, pears, and thyme.

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Pear Pandowdy


Pears and dried figs replace the usual apples in this fresh new take on the rustic dessert. Ground hazelnuts enrich the crust.

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