Recommendations for using up overripe pears
- arielleeve Sep 8, 2013 03:29 PM
Got a big bag of pears (i believe they are seckel, but not positive) in our CSA last week. They started to brown and have now been in the fridge, so I need to use them soon. Problem is, I'm really on overload for baked goods with fruit right now. All summer I've been making muffins, scones, cakes, crumbles, crisps, cobblers, and pies. And especially in the last week I've been eating a lot of that stuff because we had a BBQ on labor day, then hosted Rosh Hashonah, and today I baked birthday cupcakes for a friend. I seriously need a break from dessert baked goods. Normally I would use the pears in a sandwich or salad, but I think they're too ripe for that. Any suggestions for other ways to use them? Breakfast options (other than muffins or scones :) ) would be good. I was thinking of pear sauce, maybe?
Make 'pear sauce' as in apple sauce and freeze it. You can use it in baked goods. I have done this before, also done it with peaches that were a little bit terrible (hard and tasteless, but cooked down to mush and baked up this didn't matter), and it was fine for the resultant muffins.
Pear sauce is very good and can be subbed for applesauce in baked goods. Almond is a natural with pears - add extract or amaretto to your sauce. If you cook it down even more, into pear butter, you can freeze or can it and use as a jam. Use your oven or microwave, either on low, to cook it down so you don't need to constantly stir. A friend of mine who cans has sent me pear preserves but they were a little loose and runny. Pear butter works better.
I use fresh pears and apples in combo with golden raisins, prunes, and dried apricots for a grown-up fruit compote but it sounds like your pears are too soft for this. However, you could include any or all of these other fruits and puree the whole thing into a fruit sauce. When making the compote, I use honey (or agave nectar), apple cider, and a splash of Tokaji Aszu, which is a Hungarian raisin wine (sauternes).
The wine adds a welcome astringency to balance the sweetness of the fruits.
I often make baked oatmeal for breakfast for the week, just add in the chopped pears. (I cook the oatmeal on the stove with 2-3 eggs, salt, cinnamon and fruit, sometimes chopped nuts, then bake in casserole approx 30-40min at 350)