40 Perfect Pear Recipes
As soon as apple season rolls around, its supple cousin, the pear, so often ends up overshadowed. It's a shameful oversight worth addressing. To help the humble pear gain the recognition it deserves, we’ve rounded up our best pear recipes—we’re talking pear cider, pear pies, pear salads, poached pears, and more.
Upside Down Pear-and-Gingerbread Cake
This is the perfect cake for a week night treat or a casual holiday party. A layer of tender, caramelized pears tops this richly spiced skillet upside down cake. When it is time to put the batter into the pan, use an offset spatula to gently spread the batter without disturbing the layer of pears underneath.
Muffin-Tin Pumpkin-and-Pear Stratas
Bosc or Anjou pears will also work here, as long as they're ripe. Your bare hands do the best job of mixing the bread into the egg.
Cheddar Apple-Pear Pie
If you’re not sold on the idea of adding cheese to your apple pie, well… just wait until you taste a slice of this. There’s no turning back after you experience the wow-worthy flavor combination of sweet apples and pears matched with sharp, salty cheddar, further complimented by a smoky hit from bacon in a buttery crust. This richly dynamic apple and pear pie is an impressive dessert for the holidays; and better yet, it’s absolutely delicious served with coffee as a next-day breakfast (which is a very important consideration when choosing your holiday pies). While we went with a decorative cut-out crust on top, you could also top your pie with the second crust, as is, and cut a few slits to allow steam to release.
Fall Greens and Pear Salad
A big, colorful salad is a welcome sight at Thanksgiving. The rich cheese and ginger-apple cider dressing unites the fruit with the greens.
Roasted Balsamic Radicchio and Pears
Toaster Oven Pear Crostata With Orange-Honey Glaze
Have you hopped on the toaster oven dessert train yet? If not, now is the time and crostatas are the reason. Tapping into the power of your toaster oven (for more than just reheating pizza) is a real pro move—especially on occasions when you’re regularly oven is fully occupied or temporarily out of commission. Heck, the toaster oven can be the perfect alternative even if you simply want to save a little energy or perhaps let the kids have a bit more hands-on control in the kitchen. That said, nothing drives home the fact of a toaster oven’s versatility better than these easy pear crostatas—an elegant, company worthy desert that guests would never guess you whipped up in the toaster oven. We won’t tell if you won’t.
Early Summer Succotash
In this fresh take on succotash, we use a pan-steaming technique (no steamer basket required) to cut down on cooking time and keep the beans and corn crisp-tender rather than ultra-soft. For succotash, fresh corn always tastes more delicious than frozen, but thawed frozen corn would certainly be a good stand-in here in a pinch. If you are using fresh corn, after you cut the kernels off, run the dull side of your knife down the kernel and scrape some of the corn “milk” into the pan, too. This recipe makes a small portion but can be doubled or even tripled to serve a crowd.
Red Wine–Poached Pears with Cardamom and Vanilla Mascarpone
Perfumy cardamom heightens the sweetness of poached winter fruit. We use whole pods here to infuse the poaching liquid with the taste of cardamom. Red wine flavors the liquid, rather than serving entirely as the base, so its bitter tannins are much more subtle.
Prickly Pear Punch
We like the clean flavor and mixability of silver tequila here. For a nonalcoholic drink, omit it and top with sparkling water.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Pear and Walnut Spinach Salad
Wild salmon has less saturated fat, fewer calories, and 5 to 10 times fewer contaminants and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than farm-raised (in early studies, POPs have been linked to impaired brain development, type 2 diabetes, and obesity). There's no need to give up all farmed salmon, and eating some is always better than none. Aim to eat at least 1 to 2 servings of omega-3-rich fatty fish weekly.
Serve with naan, popadam, or lentil crisps, or pair with Manchego cheese. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Looking for a delicious muffin that everyone will love? This easy recipe will be on every bake sale wish list. Anjou pears are best for this recipe because they have a nice amount of sweetness and aren’t overly soft in texture. Look for pears that are ripe but still fairly firm; it doesn’t matter if they are red or green.
sl-Chocolate-Pear Muffins Recipe
Braised Short Ribs with Pear, Ginger, and Star Anise
This Chinese-inspired take on short ribs gets its freshness from Bosc pears cooked in the sauce, plus more pears on top in a raw relish. If you have time, cook the recipe a day ahead. The flavors will be deeper, and you can more easily lift the fat from the sauce.
Grilled Pear Toasts with Amazing Pistachio Butter
I first realized the existence of pistachio butter when I was living in Northern California a few years back. Extremely expensive little jars of the stuff lined the shelves of fancy shops throughout Napa and Sonoma. I made it for the first time while testing recipes for my friend Joshua McFadden, the chef-owner of Ava Gene’s restaurant, which is down the street from my house in Portland. My recipe is a riff on his, and it truly is amazing. You may only get as far as slicing a perfectly ripe pear and dipping in.
Grilled Pear Toasts with Amazing Pistachio Butter
Comice Pear Clafoutis
Somewhere between a custard and a pancake, you'll find clafoutis. This version of the classic French dessert, made with slightly floral Comice pears, is best when the stem end of the pears yields slightly to the touch, signaling that the fruit is flavorful but neither hard nor squishy.
Apple-Pear Pie with Cookie Butter Caramel
If you’re looking to go next-level for you next holiday pie, this speculoos infused apple and pear pie is exactly what you’re looking for. Featuring finely ground speculoos cookies (we used Biscoff brand) in the crust, larger crumbles in the pecan streusel topping, and a decadent salted cookie butter caramel sauce both in the filling and drizzled over top, this fruit pie is anything but boring. While it may seem like a hassle, don’t skip giving your fruit the little pre-cook described in step 5. This method of par-cooking the slice apples and pears will help your fruit achieve a delightfully tender, but not-too-mushy texture through the baking process.
Pear and Asian Greens Salad
Contrast the feathery textures of baby Asian greens with the crunch of quick-pickled onion, Asian pear, and sesame seeds. This salad is especially good made with red or green mustard, mizuna, and edible chrysanthemum, but feel free to experiment.
This hot toddy comes together in a flash thanks to the microwave. A little fresh lemon juice adds a bright top note and balances the sweet pear flavor with light tang.
Crunchy Bulgur Bowl with Kale, Chicken, and Pear
This easy and light summer supper is a great way to get family members to try (and enjoy) new foods, such as bulgur and raw kale. Soaking the bulgur in milk overnight both adds to the grain's wonderful rich flavor and keeps this dish completely no-cook. And even better, this simple recipe can have you ready for dinner in less time than it would take to pick up a pizza. Asian pear is a large, super crisp, sweet, and refreshing variety of pear--if you have difficulty finding it, you can definitely substitute your favorite pear or apple variety.
Buttermilk adds a subtle, creamy tang to the grits.
Pear and Bacon Whole-Grain French Toast
The Savings: 45g added sugar
The Usual: 2 pieces of white-bread French toast with berry compote and powdered sugar
Red Pear Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing
Imagine a cheese plate in salad form: sweet Red d'Anjou pears team up with sharp, nutty parmesan. Though the red pears add a pop of color, green ones work well too. Save any extra dressing as a dip for raw vegetables or to slather on bread.
Prosciutto, Pear, and Blue Cheese Sandwiches
You’ll feel like you’ve entered a gourmet deli when you take a bite of these sandwiches. Bonus: They’re quick and easy to make.
Browned Butter Pears
These buttery-sweet and delicately nutty pears are an excellent accompaniment to pork, but also make for an easy dessert for a fall dinner party (especially spooned over ice cream). We preferred to have a little bit of firm bite remain in our pears when testing the recipe, but if you’d prefer them to be a touch softer, simply continue cooking the fruit until your desired texture is reached.
Pan-Roasted Parsnips and Pears
This lovely side dish leans to the sweet side, making it a brilliant pairing for pork. Use slightly firm pears for the best texture.
Mixing low-fat Greek yogurt with crème fraîche yields a decadent-tasting topping with less saturated fat.
Honey-Ginger Pear Salad
Fall is on the way, and this crisp pear salad is ready to help your taste buds make the transition. Golden raisins add natural sweetness; walnuts deliver a nice crunch and heart-healthy fats. Don’t skip the toasting step—it intensifies the rich flavor and tones down the bitter tannins. Store leftover whole ginger in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Pear Toast with Yogurt and Mint
Sliced bread is the perfect blank canvas, ready to be loaded up with virtuous ingredients. Here is a toast recipe from the Instagram queen of the genre, Diana Ngo (@diningwithdiana), a cook and mom in the Seattle area who is working on her RD.
A vibrant arugula-and-walnut-pesto and sweet, juicy pear liven up this couscous side—a fun play on the more classic pear and walnut salad. We love the contrast of blushing red Anjou with the green pesto, but any ripe pear will work. Serve with baked salmon fillets or pork tenderloin.
Slow-Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter
Homemade gifts—especially the edible kind—are always appreciated around the holidays, but let’s face it, they can also be a lot of work to make and package. This year, treat everyone to a scratch-made gift while also saving your own sanity. Our Test Kitchen came up with a creative big-batch gift that can be made in your slow cooker with very little hands-on cooking time. This Cranberry-Pear Butter is a nice change of pace from the usual pumpkin or apple butter, and is just as delicious spread on your morning biscuit or slice of toast. You could even serve it on a cheese plate, alongside toasted baguette slices or crackers. (It would pair wonderfully with goat cheese.) Made with apple cider, cranberries, and pears, the fruit butter has a subtle kick from fresh ginger and a hint of spice from ground cinnamon. Make a batch, package it in small jars (the recipe makes 16 4-ounce jars), and spread holiday cheer to friends, neighbors, teachers, and all of the other people on your holiday gift list.
Poached Pear Bread
Poached Pear Bread combines sweet fruit and tender quick bread together in one pan. The bread is remarkably easy to make, we promise—watch our how-to video and see how it’s done. For this recipe, we use our Maple-Stout Quick Bread batter, whose flavors we absolutely love with the pears. But you can try any quick bread recipe you like; just know that you’ll probably need to bake it longer—about 5 or 10 additional minutes. After poaching the pears, don’t toss out the poaching liquid. It’s infused with a lovely pear essence and would be great in cocktails, drizzled on pound cake, or stirred into Greek yogurt. For more flavor in the pears, you can add cinnamon sticks or star anise to the poaching liquid.
This story originally appeared on CookingLight.com.
Pear and Feta Breakfast Crostini
Sabrina Ghayour has a thing for feta and honey. She's tried to link the roots of her obsession to her Iranian heritage but no other Iranians seem to like that flavor combination. Both her Greek and Turkish friends thought that her craving was weird—until they became converts after trying the pear, feta, and honey toast from Ghayour's book Sirocco. It’s a delightful breakfast crostini if you like sweet and savory combinations. This feta toast is great for breakfast and brunch, but truthfully, it’s lovely to snack on at any time of day. The addition of pear gives it a juicy burst of flavor.
Pear, Feta, and Honey Toasts
Excerpted from Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East by Sabrina Ghayour. Copyright © 2016. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese and Pears
Match the robust flavors of this dish with a hearty endive or radicchio salad to make the meal feel decidedly Italian.
Hibiscus Poached Pears
The rosy hue of the hibiscus syrup is a holiday showstopper. Drizzle over spiced poached pears for a dessert that's a bit lighter, gluten-free, and still feels holiday-special. The key to beautifully poached pears is to cook them in just enough liquid to submerge the fruit--any more and the flavor from the spices may be lost. A parchment paper topper and a plate will keep liquid from evaporating too quickly.
Pear, Olive, and Walnut Chutney
This savory-sweet chutney is tangy, sweet, full of spice, and offers a deliciously surprising salty bite with the castelvetrano olives—in other words, it’s the perfect fall condiment. While this spread tastes complex and sophisticated, it’s actually deceptively easy to whip up. Using an equal amount of sweet (brown sugar) and tart (vinegar) is a traditional blend in a chutney that balances the cooked fruit and spices. We love it served simply—generously slathered over a slice of warm, crusty bread, such as our No-Knead Lightly Rye Bread; however, this pear chutney is equally delicious used as a topper for meat, poultry, and even yogurt.
We fancified the classic ham and cheese sammy with prosciutto, Swiss, and pear. Fig preserves provide the can't-quite-place-it sweetness that elevates this toast; you can sub 1/2 teaspoon honey.
Pear, Sage, and Golden Raisin Stuffing
Peak-season pears are ideal in this savory stuffing--a fragrant, juicy foil for the salty bacon and woodsy sage.
Early Summer Salad with Tempeh Croutons and Beet Dressing
Asparagus and garlic lend a prebiotic boost to probiotic-reich beet kvass (a briny, fermented beverage) and tempeh, which studies show may still offer its good-bug benefits after baking. (This is the difference between pre- and probiotic foods.) Look for beet kvass by the kimchi in well-stocked supermarkets, or substitute beet juice if you can’t find it.