A ripe pear is a wonderful thing, but they can turn quickly from too hard to oversoft. Wether in season or not, pears are very difficult to keep in perfect ready to eat condition, so buy unripe and let them ripen in the fruit bowl.
Those less than ripe pears can be slowly and classically poached with cider or red wine, sugar and spices, or added to a tart such as our winter almond frangipanis available from the deli – although in both cases they are nicer when cooked from almost ripe, rather than rock hard.
Did you know that Poire Belle Helene is a combination of poached pear, scoop of good vanilla ice cream and a swirl of dark chocolate sauce. Created by Escoffier in the 1860s, the dish was named after an operetta by Offenbach and was originally garnished with crystallised violets!
Pears are delicious additions to savoury dishes: great with pork or lamb (try with the pork chops, above). Chris in the Walsingham shop kitchen makes a delicious pea and pear soup, and a pear chutney. Ripe pears marry brilliantly with blue cheeses.
Pear, blue cheese, rocket & walnut salad
Here’s an elegant salad starter or cheese course for a supper party: for each plate, a little heap of rocket leaves, two or three ripe pear slices, two or three small slices of Mrs Temple’s Binham blue cheese, a sprinkling of lightly toasted walnuts. For a dressing, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil with seasoning to taste (remembering the cheese is quite salty already).
Roasted Pears with Thyme and Honey
- 4 ripe pears, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced pears with olive oil, honey, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
Transfer the pears to a baking dish or sheet, spreading them out in a single layer.
Roast the pears in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and tender.
Remove from oven and serve the roasted pears warm as a side dish, garnished with additional fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Enjoy your delicious and easy side dish of roasted pears with thyme and honey!