Pear Up

These delightful recipes are sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

Bosc, Comice, Anjou. No, it’s not a spell from the newest film in the Harry Potter franchise. These are the pears of the moment. Along with their apple cousins (and unlike the outlier Bartlett pear, which ripens in the summer) the sweet pale fruit is in its prime now and through the winter, ripe for the taking.

We offer recipes to make the most of these winter beauties, but first, a quick guide:

  • The Beurré Bosc, or simply Bosc, is a pear of European origin now cultivated across the northwestern U.S. and parts of Canada and Australia. Known by some as the “aristocrat of pears,” the Bosc has a dense, crisp flesh and a sweet honey flavor, which makes them ideal for baking. In season October through April.
  • The Comice Pear, or Pyrus communis, is also called the common pear and the “Christmas pear” due to its green and red coloring. Native to parts of Europe and Southwest Asia, this variety is now grown worldwide. These pears are best eaten fresh: the sweet, buttery flesh of the Comice makes it an artful complement to cheese plates, however the extreme juiciness makes it a poor choice for cooking. Available September through March.
  • The D’Anjou, the Beurré d’Anjou, or just the Anjou, is a short-necked European pear thought to have originated in Belgium or France. The Anjou is available in two color variations: the red and the green. Unlike other pears, this variety does not change color as it ripens. An all-purpose pear, the Anjou has a firm flesh and subtle sweetness that lends to many different types of cooking.

Pear Galette


3 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, strained
2 large Bosc pears
½ teaspoon very hot water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the flour with 1 teaspoon each of the sugar and salt. Cut in 5 tablespoons of cold butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg over the flour mixture and stir. Working quickly, gather the dough into a smooth mass, squeezing it gently.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 5-inch disk. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm (but not hard), about 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 9 1/2-inch round, turning it clockwise an inch or two each time you roll to maintain an even shape. Transfer the dough to a heavy, flat baking sheet. Fold up 1/4 inch of the edge of the dough to form a neat rim. Using a knife, score the rim in a decorative pattern. Brush the rim with a little of the remaining beaten egg. Brush 1 tablespoon of the apricot preserves over the bottom of the dough and refrigerate.

Peel, quarter and core the pears. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 5 slices. Set aside 6 pear slices, and arrange the rest on the dough in a spoke pattern, overlapping them slightly. Cut the remaining 6 pear slices lengthwise into thinner slices and arrange them in the center of the tart to form a decorative rose. Melt the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter, brush onto the pear slices and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pears are tender and the pastry is crisp and golden. Carefully slide the galette onto a rack to cool slightly. Stir the hot water into the remaining 1 tablespoon of apricot preserves and brush over the pears. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8

Pork Tenderloin with Poached Pears and Pomme Duchesse


6 6-ounce pork tenderloin cuts
all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
clarified butter or olive oil

Salt and pepper the tenderloins and roll through flour. Heat butter in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until done.

POACHED PEARS

6 Anjou pears, peeled and cored
water, enough to cover pears
¼ cup lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick

Heat water, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan until simmering. Place pears in poaching liquid, turn off heat, cover pan, and poach for approximately 10 minutes.

POMME DUCHESSE

2 ½ pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter
½ tablespoon nutmeg
Parmesan cheese to taste
salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until easily pierced by a fork. Rice the potatoes, and mash after adding butter, egg, nutmeg, cheese, salt and pepper. Place mashed potatoes in piping bag with a large pastry tip. Pipe near-full circles on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brown for several minutes in oven .

For the sauce:

1 48-ounce can veal stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 ounce chocolate
1 ounce Madeira wine (dry)
salt and pepper

Pour Madeira in saucepan and burn off alcohol. Add veal stock, tomato paste and chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Reduce by 1⁄3. Add salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables:

about 5 Brussels sprouts per person
about 3 garlic cloves per person (peeled, left whole)
olive oil

Clean and wash Brussels sprouts and cut a cross in each stem. Heat oven-proof pan, and sauté sprouts and garlic in olive oil. Cover with foil and roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes at 350.

To serve, pour a small puddle of sauce on each plate. Place a pear in each puddle. Slice the tenderloin, and fan it on the plate. Arrange a few Brussels sprouts and garlic cloves on each.
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