VegBox Recipes

Pear

Pear If we're lucky, pears start to appear in our seasonal fruit bags / boxes (or ready for picking in our back gardens!) from the end of August all the way through to the beginning of February.

Buy?
Ripe pears will yield to gentle pressure at the stem end.
Store?
Ripe pears can be stored for several days in the fridge in a plastic bag.

To ripen pears at home, wrap them in paper and put them in a cool, dark place for a few days.

Keep ripe pears away from strong smelling things like onions and garlic - they really absorb the odour!
Cook?
There's no need to peel pears, unless they're not organic. Just give them a wash. Their skin is a valuable source of fibre.

Whilst pears are delicious raw, in desserts or with cheese boards or in salads (one of the hits of last Summer was pea and pear salad), they are also very special baked, poached, roasted, or fried. Don't be fooled into thinking that pears = pudding. They make a great addition to savoury meals, and are a delicious ingredient in savoury stuffings too.

More Pear Information

Pears come from the same family as apples but when ripe usually have much softer flesh than ripe apples. Unlike other fruits, pears ripened on the tree are less delicious and smooth than pears that are harvested and finish their ripening off the branch. If they are left to ripen on the branch, pears develop a particularly gritty, woody texture.

One of the most interesting things about pears is, I think, that they cause the fewest allergic reactions in people of all the fruits. Which has lead many people (although not vegetarians, I'm afraid) to live on a "lamb and pears" diet for a short while whilst they reintroduce foods they suspect they may be allergic to, as lamb is also very rarely associated with allergic reactions.

Spiced Pears
Got too many pears in this week's fruit bag? Here's a great, simple way of using them up. Goes beautifully with goats' cheese or Camembert...
Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 4-6 ripe pears
  • 100ml red wine
  • ½ cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 50g sugar

Method
  1. Peel the pears. Cut them into quarters and remove the core and stalk.


  2. Gently heat the wine, sugar and spices in a pan until the sugar has dissolved.


  3. Add the pears, cover and heat gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the pears and put them in a bowl. Simmer the remaining liquid for up to 10 minutes, until it has thickened into a syrup. Pour over the pears.

  5. Pour the syrup over the pears and allow to cool for a couple of hours.

  6. Serve cold or warm with creme fraiche, or as an accompaniment to goats' cheese, Camembert or Brie with salad.



Cupboard-To-Table

About 3 hours, allowing for cooling time
About 10 minutes' actual preparation time

Suggested Pear Recipes

Classic English Pancakes

Pancakes are traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday, which is always 47 days before Easter Sunday, and is the final day before the commencement of Lent. As Lent is, for Christians, a time of abstinence of some kind - of giving things up - pancakes are the perfect food for the day before, using as they do eggs, fat and flour - foods seen as luxurious and that were forbidden for strict Lent observers.

Not so many people observe Lent these days, although it can be such a useful practice - regardless of our religious or spiritual identity - for appreciating more keenly the luxuries of every day life which we may take for granted.

A period of renunciation can help is discover, perhaps, how attached we can get to and even how reliant we can be upon certain things and certain behaviours.

Meanwhile, though, back to those pancakes!

Cosy Baked Stuffed Apples

This recipe was suggested to us by our good friend Gill in London. It's a really comforting "old-school pud" that you can play around with, and which also works brilliantly for breakfast times.

Greek Style Kohlrabi

In this recipe, kohlrabi is prepared "Greek-style", with fresh pears, dates and Feta cheese. It makes a great salad and works best with young kohlrabi, which are still smaller than 8cm and are less woody than the larger variety.

Honey & Ginger Poached Pears

This is a delicious recipe, ideal for entertaining. It takes very little preparation, then you just leave it to cool for 4 hours, so you can make it well in advance and whip up some cream at the last minute to impress your guests!

Love-Struck Pear Ice-Cream

When I was the tender age of 19, I fell in love with the boy in the room next to me at uni. When he told me, at the end of the Winter term, that he had once eaten pear ice-cream in France and loved it, I knew what I had to do!

After spending the Christmas holiday perfecting my pear "love-struck" ice-cream, I returned to college certain that the tubs I took with me would win his heart.

Three weeks later the ice-cream was still in the freezer compartment of our fridge and I was inconsolable. Or perhaps I was already in love with someone else ... I can't remember much other than that the ice cream was delicious!

Particularly Piggy Pear Pie

This one comes courtesy from my dear old Ma. Oh brother is this a favourite in our family... If my sister and I are going home for a visit and Mum asks us on the phone "What would you girls like for pudding on Sunday?" there's only ever one answer, and it's usually in unison ... "PEAR PIE!!!"

Peas and Pears Late Summer Salad

This is another one of the brilliant creations that emerge when hunger bumps noisily up against what's left in the fridge and the fruit bowl!

Savoury Sauteed Pears and Turnips

We can almost hear the mass of eyebrows being raised!

But by the time you've finished reading the Method, we reckon you'll be convinced to give it a go.

Spiced Pears

Got too many pears in this week's fruit bag? Here's a great, simple way of using them up. Goes beautifully with goats' cheese or Camembert...

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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