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Pears and ginger -- do you have a great dessert?

I'm looking for some inspiration for a company dessert. Although I don't know that I've ever had it, the combination of pears and fresh ginger is sounding like a good combination. I haven't mastered pie crusts, so now isn't the time to start practicing. Does anyone have any great suggestions (and recipes, please)? Thanks!

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  1. Pears and ginger work very well together, you're right.
    Poached pears are not my thing, but I bet you'll find quite a few suggestions recipes for poaching pears in a gingery liquid. I'd bet that some vanilla, or cinnamon ice cream would go very well with that.

    I like a more butter laden dessert, so I'd suggest a pear crisp with some finely diced fresh ginger, possibly sauteeing the ginger in butter before adding it to the layer of pears. Also, vanilla or cinnamon ice cream with that.

    12 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      That sounds wonderful. Cinnamon ice cream... hmmm... where would I find that?

      1. re: CindyJ

        you know, I'd assume a nice grocer would have some, although I don't go looking for it all the time. I know one of the major ice cream producers like edy's makes it during the holidays. If nothing else, I'd assume a local ice cream shop would have some, OR another interesting flavor that they could just hand pack for you.

      2. re: gordeaux

        I found this recipe and it looks really good. What do you think? http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

        1. re: CindyJ

          That recipe sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing the link.

          1. re: HillJ

            The end result was a disappointment and that surprised me since I've rarely had a bad experience with Cooks Illustrated recipes. I followed the recipe precisely. The "crisp" part was lacking in flavor and had only a faint hint of ginger, which was disappointing since it contained both crystallized ginger and ground ginger (both of which were purchased recently and presumed to be fresh). The mixture for tossing the pears in was such a small amount, it was hardly enough to coat the 3 pounds of peeled, cored pears, and the resulting liquid (including the pear juice that cooked out) was fairly bland. My advice -- discard recipe and the link!

            BTW - the cinnamon ice cream I served it with was delicious!

            1. re: CindyJ

              I appreciate the follow up report CindyJ and I'm disappointed for you that the results were less than yummy. So many recipes require tweaking.

              I've been working with pears combos this month myself. I made a pear-ginger sauce for pound cake which was a hit, then used the leftover sauce swirled into a cheesecake batter, also quite good. The pear and grapefruit crisp and baked off required 3 full cups of crumble topping to my liking and would also make a lovely single crust pie. Lots of experimenting to go. Cinnamon ice cream with a pear/ginger topping would make me swoon!

              1. re: HillJ

                How'd you make that pear-ginger sauce?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I peeled & cored 20 pears and steamed them in ginger infused water. Cubed and cooled. Then I peeled one "finger" of fresh ginger and added it to a pot with one cinnamon stick, one vanilla bean and 1 cup of fresh apple juice until just at a boil. Off the heat, I whisked in 1/2 cup of light cream and strained the mixture. Tossed in pears. Then at service drizzled the ginger mixture on pound cake & spooned the ginger pears over each slice. For the cheesecake, I poured half the batter in the spring form pan, topped with pear-ginger mixture and then the other half of the batter to bake off.

              2. re: CindyJ

                Cindy, a tip for boosting the ginger in any recipe - add a little grated fresh ginger with its juice, or a hit of Ginger People ginger juice (i always keep a bottle of this stuff in the fridge, it's terrific).

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    There was grated fresh ginger in the recipe, as well as crystallized and ground gingers. The fresh ginger (the recipe called for 1 teaspoon) was mixed in with cornstarch and lemon juice (1 teaspoon of each) and the sliced pears were tossed in that mixture before baking. Here again, I'm thinking that that wasn't enough ginger for the 3 pound of pairs.

              3. re: CindyJ

                Any recipe is prolly fine, BUT, if you don't use real butter, then you'll get what you deserve. Making a crisp using margarine is heresy IMO - of course, there are some who cannot use butter for health reasons, but if you make this with butter, I bet your guests will lose their minds.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                That recipe looks like a keeper. I think I'm going to save it for Thanksgiving.

                1. re: CindyJ

                  i made it once several years ago (before i had to give up gluten) and it was wonderful! i'm glad this thread reminded me and made me dig it up - i'm going to see if i can modify it to make it GF.

              2. I'd do a Pear & Ginger Clafouti. The batter is super simple to make, unlike pie crust. Just spread your chopped fruit and ginger in the bottom of a skillet, pour the batter over the fruit and bake for about 25 minutes. I use Alton Brown's Cherry Clafouti recipe all the time and sub- other fruits.

                1. Joe H. turned me onto Green Ginger Wine this week here on CH. Found it under UK in my local wine shop. For a party this weekend, I plan to poach pears in this wine nectar (which tastes fabulous) and then serve along side caramelized ginger slices drizzled over pound cake. Yum!

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: HillJ

                    When you say, "...under UK..." does that mean in the section of the store with wines from UK? I didn't know there was such a thing. And what, exactly, IS green ginger wine?

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Hi CindyJ, Yes UK section of the store. From what I've learned GG wine is a young wine (aged 9 mos) produced in England, made from dried grapes and pure root ginger. If you enjoy the flavor of ginger, as I do, you will enjoy this light wine.

                    2. re: HillJ

                      HillJ, I have been drinking Stone's ginger wine for years (I have half-and-half with sparkling water - great aperitif or afternoon drink), but it has never occurred to me to use it for poaching pears or other fruit. Thanks for the great idea!

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        I have CH member, JoeH. to thank, CMc! He turned me onto this wine when I asked about the inclusion of GG via this FN drunken shrimp recipe he's touted. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                        I'll be experimenting with the green ginger wine myself for a while. As a newcomer to it's delicious, crisp taste I have a feeling it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship :)

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I've never cooked with it; I guess I've been too busy drinking it! I'm a ginger fiend and love it. Saw it on a low shelf in a wine shop around 10 years ago and bought a bottle, intrigued. Start of a beautiful friendship, indeed.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            Fellow ginger fiend...melt down one of these Green & Black ginger bars to a creamy pool of chocolate heaven and pour it over a freshly baked ginger muffin still warm from the oven. Then top with crystalized ginger bits. Good god, heavenly! http://www.greenandblacks.com/ca/what...

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Oh, you are EVIL. I just bought one of those G&Bs a few days ago (along with 3 other different types of chocolate bars at WF) after a hell week at work. The ginger one is still unopened.

                              I........shall...........resist.......making..........ginger...........muffins........

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                LW...do NOT cheat yourself of a ginger muffin!!! :) EVIL is going w/out!
                                Aren't those G&B bars the best....and I'm so fussy about chocolate.

                              2. re: HillJ

                                Love the G&B ginger bar. Love adding crystallized ginger to recipes...almost as much as I love just eating it out of hand. You would enjoy See's dark chocolate-covered glac├ęd ginger (#21): http://www.sees.com/Cat.cfm/Custom_Mix

                      2. A simple trifle along the lines of this recipe I saw on the Recipe board? You could use Trader Joe's Triple Gingersnaps for the crumble as well (that was my hacked recipe idea):

                        http://www.chow.com/recipes/14107

                        1. Why not poach whole pears, peeled, (Bosc is a good variety) in a ginger and sauterne poaching liquid, with a lemon rind twist, then cool slightly and swirl in good quality dark chocolate. Pretty easy to do and has a certain 'wow" effect for the company. Serve at room temp. with a little ginger creme anglaise.

                          1. You could always try this variation of Korean Baesook (Peppercorn Pear) with ginger syrup.
                            Bosc pears should work as a good substitute for the Asian or Nashi pear.

                            Baesook (Korean Peppercorn Pear with ginger)

                            Servings: 4

                            Ingredients

                            3 each Nashi (Asian) pears
                            2 ounces peeled ginger
                            36 to 48 each peppercorns
                            3 tablespoons sugar
                            6 cups water
                            1 ounce pine nuts

                            Procedure

                            Preparation
                            Slice the ginger into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
                            Wash the pears in cold water, peel, and cut into quarters.
                            Remove and discard core sections, then trim (round) all sharp edges.
                            Push 3 or 4 peppercorns into the surface of each pear section just far enough that they do not fall out.

                            Cooking
                            Put ginger, sugar, and water into a pot and bring to a full boil over high heat.
                            Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until liquid reduces by 1/4.
                            Strain out ginger solids.
                            Add pear sections and cook for another 10 minutes.
                            Remove from heat and let cool.
                            Transfer liquid and pear sections to a bowl or jar and refrigerate.
                            Serve cold (2 or 3 pear sections covered with juice) in small bowls.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: hannaone

                              That sounds really interesting. Do you eat the peppercorns?

                            2. I took a cooking class in Cambridge from Helen Rennie last Fall.

                              We made an amazing Upside down Carmelized Pear Tart. I don't have permission to share her recipe, but I have made it several times and it gets raves. Here is the the recipe, without giving exact amounts.

                              We made our own crust, but you can use store bought or even puff pastry. I do both.

                              It's fairly simple, just get 4 boch pears, peel core and cut them in half lengthwise.
                              Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a 9 or 10 inch skillet, place a few tablespoons of butter
                              and heat on medium until butter is melted. Next add a few tablespoons of sugar. Stir
                              and add pears, cut side up in a pinwheel with the skinny top of pears pointing to the center. Cook the pears from 15-25 minutes until the pears and sugar carmelize.
                              Remove from heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 T. freshly chopped ginger.
                              Let cool. Roll out dough, place over top of pears, and tuck extra dough inside of the pan. Don't have too much dough to tuck in though, about 1/2 beyond the rim.

                              Bake for around 25-30 minutes, so crust is golden. Let cool five minutes and place a large platter over top of skillet and invert quickly onto platter. Let cool for 15 minutes, serve warm with ice cream.