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What to do with pears

I received a Harry & David gift a couple days ago with seven huge, beautiful pears. I've never been a huge pear fan - don't know why since I don't dislike them, just rarely choose to buy them over other fruits. So these pears are ripening quickly and I need some ideas of what to do with them!!

I also don't have my Christmas dinner dessert planned yet. Does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to do a crisp, cobbler, etc. The idea of poached pears doesn't ring my chimes. A tart of some sort maybe?? I'm so on Christmas overload that I can't think of anything.

Please help with some ideas! Thanks.

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  1. How about a Pear Clafoutis?

    Or, a pear poundcake drizzled with a chocolate basalmic vinegar sauce and some heavy cream?

    1. I am not a huge pear fan -other than using them as a vehicle for Brie!!! But, I made this for a company dessert and thought it was really nice and different...

      http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/bit...

      6 Replies
      1. re: sedimental

        pear tart with brie, like the classic apple pie and cheddar is really good.

          1. re: sedimental

            Wow, this recipe was FABULOUS! I'm not even sure I did it right, I got caught up chopping pears and let the batter mix too long. So the finished product was maybe a little denser than the recipe intended, but it tased wonderful. The pears with bittersweet chocolate...genius. Thanks for the recommendation, this recipe goes into the rotation.

            1. re: nojunk

              Oh, I am so glad you liked it!
              It is a very different kind of cake -and so nice to serve in the winter.

              1. re: sedimental

                Thanks for pointing out the bittersweet chocolate and pear cake.
                I love smittenkitchen.

            1. re: maplesugar

              You beat me too it, I was going to say Galleygirl's pear tart as well!

            2. How about a pear vanilla bean butter? Or a pavlova with a few other fruits? Poached pears can be nice, too.

              1. I do a salad with pear, chevre, and toasted walnuts with a bit of chopped scallions. Dress with a vinegarette of olive oil, white balsamic or apple cider vinegar, spoonful of yogurt or sour cream, squeeze of honey and the juice of half an orange - salt and pepper to taste. Very nice!

                1. look on the "winter salads" thread for lots of interesting combos using pears.

                  and for a sandwich:
                  i just got harry & david pears, too, and enjoyed the first one sliced thinly, stuck in between good ham and muenster cheese on butter-smeared-toasted-sourdough grilled in a cast iron skillet. weight it down so the three ingredients fuse.

                  ~~~~~
                  in memory of my mother, i'd propose a (lightly poached or raw) pear cut in half, topped with cottage cheese (or mascarpone), and a little grated sharp cheddar -- served on a bed of butter lettuce.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: alkapal

                    >in memory of my mother, i'd propose a (lightly poached or raw) pear cut in half, topped with >cottage cheese (or mascarpone), and a little grated sharp cheddar -- served on a bed of butter >lettuce.

                    In my family, the trashy version of this was a staple: canned pears, mayo, longhorn. I still kind of love it, but I'm intrigued by the idea of classin' it up - thanks!

                    1. re: darklyglimmer

                      yes, canned pears is the standard. the cottage cheese with the canned pear is a good flavor combo. my mother would've used the canned pears, too. fresh pears are the fruit that she would have gotten in abundance during the season from her mother's yard in north florida. those pears she would have "put up" and then used to make her delicious cobbler. the recipe is here on chowhound as "georgia faye's easy cobbler."

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I like the touch of the grated sharp cheddar. Home-canned pears (home-canned any fruit, really) = heaven.

                    2. re: alkapal

                      Pear halves with cottage cheese and ginger syrup are very good too.

                      1. re: eclecticsynergy

                        hmmm, i like that ginger syrup idea. i wonder how a teensy bit of cardamom might be on that?

                    3. This is not for Christmas dessert but a great use of pears. I am making it for New Year's brunch.
                      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...
                      The appeal for me is that it is both sweet and savory.

                      1. Smitten Kitchen has an adapted pear bread recipe that calls for two cups of shredded pear and it's moist & delicious. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/pea...

                        1. For Christmas Eve I'm planning my favorite arugula, endive, pear, and candied walnut salad:

                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          1. I always put them in cranberry sauce. They take on the flavor and color of cranberries, while lightly sweetening the sauce. Just make sure to peel them first, and I recommend a splash of brandy.

                            1. One way to enjoy them by yourself is to warm up some chopped ripe pear with cinnamon...then put it into Greek yogurt...oh! my! so delicious!

                              1. Thanks everyone for the ideas. I think I'm going to go with the Smitten Kitten recipe with pear wedges and bittersweet chocolate.

                                AND...I also just received a Cuisinart griddler so pear/brie panini here we come.

                                I'm gonna have a lot of dieting to do!!!

                                1. i made a pear cake a few days ago.. super easy u need

                                  sliced pears
                                  a batter made of melted butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, an egg and a pinch of salt.. and whatever flavor u want, i had cardemom, just mix everything, taste to see if it taste like cake batter, then pour over pears and put in the oven ^^ thats how i bake when i have fruit i dont know what to do with
                                  serve with whipped cream or icecream

                                  1. A bit to late for you, but I also recommend GalleyGirl's Pear Tart. Also, I just had a slice of wonderful pear and ginger pie from a local cafe. I don't have a recipe, but I know it was made with Bartlett pears, and the crust was made with whole wheat pastry flour and butter. The pears were cut into largish wedges (maybe 3/4 of an inch thick at the outside), cooked until just tender, and not at all heavily sweetened. Really good.