These pear recipes, one an appetizer and the other a dessert, use the Bartlett pear variety considered the sweetest, juiciest and most flavorful pear, according to the California Pear Advisory Board. America’s most popular pear variety, it ripens at room temperature, turning from bright green to mild yellow. It is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure. The pear board has many luscious Bartlett pear recipes on its website for all meal types and day parts.
There are pear recipes on this website for other pear varieties including the Bosc and Comice varieties. Bosc pears are popular for use in desserts. They are aromatic with dense, sweet-spicy flesh that is ideal for baking, poaching and cooking. Comice pears have the highest sugar content of all pear varieties. They are sweet and juicy with a rich, buttery flavor and a smooth, fine texture. They are perfect for snacking or served as a dessert pear with cheese.
Bartlett Pear and Gorgonzola Bruchetta
12 slices baguette
4 ounces mild, creamy Gorgonzola at room temperature
2 ripe pears, halved, cored and peeled
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a non-stick or ungreased baking sheet. Toast until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Spread each of the toasts with a thin layer of Gorgonzola. Slice the pears and then top each of the toasts with them and return to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese and warm the pears. Garnish with fresh ground pepper.
Pears Poached in White Wine with Sabayon Sauce
8 to 10 firm, ripe, unblemished fresh California Bartlett pears
2 quarts water and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl
1 quart fine, strong dry white wine or 3 cups dry white vermouth and 1 cup water
Zest (colored part of peel only) and juice of 2 lemons
1 ½ cups sugar
2 sticks or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg yolks
¼ cup fruit poaching liquid or a sweet white wine plus a little vanilla
¼ cup white vermouth
¼ – 1/3 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of liquid added
Peel, halve and core pears, dropping them into the lemon water as you go to prevent discoloration.
Meanwhile, simmer wine with lemon zest and juice, sugar and cinnamon for 5 minutes. Drop in the pears (adding only so many that the cooking liquid covers them, or add more wine plus 6 tablespoons sugar per cup). Maintain liquid at just below the simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, just until pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Let them cool in the syrup for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or cold; store in a covered bowl, in the syrup, under refrigeration.
For Sabayon Sauce: Whisk all Sabayon Sauce ingredients together in a stainless or enameled saucepan. When well blended, whisk over low heat until mixture is thick, foamy and warm to your finger. Do not bring too near to simmer or the eggs will scramble, but you must have enough heat to do the job – a wisp of steam rising over the surface usually indicates the sauce is done, after 2 to 4 minutes of whisking. Serve within 20 to 30 minutes.
Note: With a longer wait, the sauce will usually separate but can be re-homogenized by beating again over heat. It will not e a foamy sauce, however, if reheated it will usually be a smooth, yellow cream like a custard sauce.
Sabayon Sauce can be made in a double boiler over simmering water.
California Pear advisory Board