Ap-pear-antly, some people need to be persuaded to eat more pears.
Not I—I absolutely love a drippingly soft, perfumy pear. The type doesn’t matter: I am equally smitten with Anjou, Bartlett, Comice, or Asian pears. And pears can bring so much more joy than you get by just eating them out of hand; they are a versatile and delicious ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. Here’s a pear-centric menu featuring some of our favorite recipes using the fruit.
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Pear First Course
Our Pan-Roasted Pear Salad is an unbeatable sweet-savory first course. It’s got salty, smoky bacon; tangy, bold blue cheese; and pear wedges that are caramelized on the edges and softly sweet inside. A little maple syrup in the vinaigrette calls out the pears’ sweet complexity even more. Trust me, you will love this salad.
Pan-Roasted Pear SaladThere’s nothing wrong with a perfect, juicy pear by itself. But we wanted something more.
Pear Main Course
What protein pairs best with pears?
It’s pork, of course. And you’d be hard pressed to find a better combination of the two ingredients than in our Pork Tenderloin and Pears with Balsamic Onions. This stunning supper hits all the pleasure points: savory meat, sweet-yet-complex fruit, and tangy-tart onions. The mild pork tenderloin is seasoned with a potent blend of thyme, ginger, and garlic before being seared in a skillet. Then, pear wedges are browned in the flavorful spiced fat. Finally, onions are softened in the same skillet before being doused in balsamic vinegar, and everything is combined before serving. It’s quick, easy, and quite likely a new favorite in your dinnertime rotation.
Pork Tenderloin and Pears with Balsamic OnionsPerfectly caramelized Bosc pears add a sweet element to savory pork.
We have lots of pear dessert recipes in our archive, but none are finer than our Pear Crisp with Miso and Almonds.
Wait, miso? In dessert?
Trust us, it works. The filling features chunked Bosc pears and sweet-tart dried cherries. It gets topped with a gooey caramel-like blanket of cream, brown sugar, and butter. And finally, the topping: crunchy panko, sliced almonds, and flour, plus lemon zest, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, and a tablespoon of white miso to balance the sweetness of the fruit and call all the flavors into focus. It works—no, it more than “works;” it is utterly delicious.
Pear Crisp with Miso and AlmondsLiterally easier than pie, and better-tasting, too.
Learn all about the different kinds of pears you can use when cooking or baking—or just eating!—below.
Also known as “pear-apples,” Asian pears are rounder and squatter than other varieties. They are crunchy, as they do not soften as they ripen. Tasters noted that they “lack pear flavor,” with one taster asking, “Is this a pear or an apple?” They add crisp texture to salads or slaws.
Available with red or green skin, Anjou pears are squat and plump, with wider necks than other varieties. Their flesh is creamy, tender, and incredibly juicy when ripe. Tasters described them as having “classic pear flavor.”
Green when underripe, these pears take on a yellowish hue when ripe. They have a floral, sweet flavor and thin, delicate skin. Bartletts are the most widely grown pear in America and are the variety typically used for canned pears.
Easy to recognize by their brownish skin and elongated necks, Bosc pears are very sweet and fragrant when ripe and are our favorite pears for baking. They’re naturally firmer than other varieties, which keeps their flesh from turning mushy when cooked.