I have to admit that growing up I wasn’t too keen on pears. But as an adult I have come to enjoy them in savory and sweet dishes. Pears are not only juicy and sweet but are a good source of vitamin C and copper (helps protect the body from free radical damage). They’re also a very good source of fiber (helps prevent constipation, helps to lower high cholesterol). While there are literally thousands of pear varieties, the Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou and Comice pears are the most commonly available types in the United States. To get the most antioxidant protection from pears, eat when fully ripened as that’s when their antioxidant levels actually increase.
Makes about 40 fritters
adapted from Fine Cooking
2 small firm-ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
finely grated lemon zest of one small lemon
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 to 2 1/2 cups canola oil 2 to 2-1/2 cups canola oil
In a small bowl, combine the pears, ginger, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Macerate at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly frothy. Whisk in the flour just until combined—it shouldn’t be completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites, and then fold in the pear mixture.
In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with a candy thermometer clipped to the side. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°F. Using 2 tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, carefully drop a ball of batter into the hot oil. Add 4 or 5 more to the oil, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, turn the fritters over and continue frying until golden-brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and drain briefly. Toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat and transfer to a platter. Continue cooking the rest of the fritters in the same manner. Serve hot.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: I love the combination of pear and ginger. These pear fritters brought back memories of when I used to eat Tim Hortons apple fritters…although these are much nicer (sorry TH!). My daughter enjoyed dropping the batter into the hot oil but not as much as she did consuming these little gems! Cheers!