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Sep 23, 2008 03:02 PM

Can you substitute Asian pears for apples?

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?

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

      1. 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. 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. 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:

            4 Replies
            1. re: squabbit

              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

                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

                  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

                    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.