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Can you substitute Asian pears for apples?

Eujeanie Sep 23, 2008 03:02 PM

I was about to buy some apples to make Apple Crisp, when someone gave me a pile of Asian pears from their tree...can I use it like apples in the recipe?

If not, what would you do with 7-8 big Asian pears?

  1. j
    jsaimd Sep 23, 2008 03:06 PM

    You can but they don't soften the same as apples. They keep a bit of texture - maybe call it graininess? That being said I like them in desserts, but prefer them in savory dishes. I LOVE them with beets and goat cheese or in salads or as a last minute addition to asian savory dishes even. Make sure and keep them in the fridge - they are best cold.

    I have made asian pear tarts, savory and sweet, and last week camping we made baked asian pears over the fire - very yummy.

    1. ipsedixit Sep 23, 2008 10:53 PM

      No, I wouldn't. Different taste and texture.

      1. greygarious Sep 24, 2008 09:35 AM

        Absolutely - and a little almond extract pairs well. Since they retain more texture, make sure you prep them in extremely thin slices (as in 1/8 inch) or very small dice.
        Apples and pears are closely related so you can often interchange them in recipes.

        1. Cheese Boy Sep 24, 2008 07:52 PM

          I'd get brave and try it. To me, an Asian pear is what results when an apple spends the night with a bosc pear. So, with that said, yes, I'd substitute an Asian pear for an apple because 'the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree'. : )

          1. s
            squabbit Sep 25, 2008 01:15 PM

            Asian pears (or their juice rather) are used as meat tenderizer in some, well, Asian meat dishes. I recently made a great great great Korean braised beef short rib recipe that called for Asian Pear that I found here:http://www.xanga.com/thousandthdish/5...

            4 Replies
            1. re: squabbit
              brendastarlet Sep 25, 2008 03:40 PM

              You can make a crisp with Asian pears, but you then have an Asian pear crisp. They have a grainy texture, and they are "wetter" than most apples. I'd add a little cornstarch to compensate.

              1. re: brendastarlet
                Eujeanie Sep 25, 2008 04:32 PM

                Thanks - had one in a salad today with gorgonzola and walnuts and a fabulous dressing, loved it.

                I think I will give it a try with the crisp - I thought it did taste like a cross between a pear and an apple so what's the worst that can happen?

                Do you think they'll last in the fridge until next week or should I use them sooner (I've got some adventurous company coming next Wednesday for dinner who won't mind being Guinea Pigs).

                1. re: Eujeanie
                  greygarious Sep 25, 2008 06:06 PM

                  Asian pears (called apple pears or pear apples in some stores) keep in the fridge for prolonged periods. I once "lost" one in the back of the crisper for months and it was still perfect.

                  1. re: Eujeanie
                    brendastarlet Sep 28, 2008 10:00 AM

                    They should be okay for a week but they do get some spots on them.
                    Asian Pear sorbet is also fabulous. I had some last week and it was stunningly good. You can just mush up the pears in a blender, add some sugar syrup to taste and freeze.

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