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poached pears – an easy dessert

poached pearsIt’s been a while since I last poached pears.  A super easy dessert to make and one where you don’t need any special ingredients.  Poached pears make the best use of unripe fruit and heightens the flavor of firm but ripe pears.  This light and delicate dessert is perfect for entertaining; the pears stay in the poaching liquid until ready to serve.  Serve the pears whole, sliced or quartered.  Continue Reading →

Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza

Pear & Blue Cheese PizzaWhat to do with overly ripe pears? A few things come to mind: fruit leather, smoothie, crumble, juice. But it’s Friday night and I’m looking to make pizza so why not incorporate pear and blue cheese.  I’m into the culinary balancing act of sweet and salty and pear is magical with blue cheese.  Continue Reading →

Endive Salad

endive salad by The Culinary ChaseI know, another salad but I promise this one is a keeper! Endive (pronounced on-deev) is a favorite of ours and because I don’t buy it that often it remains a treat whenever I serve it.  This endive salad is bursting full of flavor and will have your taste buds doing a happy dance.  Ok, I am exaggerating a bit, but you will enjoy the way the creamy/saltiness from the goat cheese mixes well with the sweetness of the candied pistachios.

Serves 2
2 to 3 heads of Belgian endive
goat cheese
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
white wine or sherry vinegar

Candied Pistachios –
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup demerara sugar

candied pistachio by The Culinary ChaseTo make the candied pistachios, preheat oven to 350°f. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, water, salt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Toss the pistachios and demerara sugar in the honey mixture, stirring well to coat. Spread the nut mixture onto a parchment-lined baking tray in a single layer and bake until the nuts are golden brown (8-10 minutes).   Cool and break into small pieces.

Belgian endive by The Culinary ChaseTrim ends of endive and separate endive heads into single leaves. Arrange leaves on plates followed by pear slices. Add crumbled goat cheese. Add a splash of olive oil and white wine vinegar. Top salad with candied pistachios and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Keep an eye on the pistachios as they can quickly turn from a golden brown to a burnt brown!  If you can’t find pistachios, substitute with whatever is your favorite nut.  A crisp and crunchy salad with a hint of sweetness.  Enjoy!

Pear Clafoutis

Pear Clafoutis by The Culinary ChaseClafoutis (kla-foo-tee) is a cross between a flan and a soufflé with batter similar to that of crepes.  Clafoutis is a rustic breakfast/brunch food that hails from France and the traditional recipe calls for fresh cherries but you can add whatever fruit you like.  I bought Forelle pears last week and they were taking the longest time to ripen.  Pear clafoutis is a cinch to make and most households have the ingredients already on hand.  You don’t need a fancy dish either!  One thing to remember, though, if you use berries that are tart to begin with, you’ll need to add sugar to sweeten it to your liking.

Serves 4 to 6
inspired by Joy of Baking

3 to 4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

forelle pears by The Culinary Chase1) Preheat oven to 425f and place the rack in the center of the oven.

clafoutis ingredients by The Culinary Chase2) In a bowl add flour, salt, eggs, sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Using a whisk, combine until batter is smooth.
3) Butter a 9-inch heavy ovenproof skillet (at least 1 1/2-inches deep), dust with granulated sugar and add sliced pears (in a single layer). Pour batter over the pears and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the clafoutis is puffed, set, and golden brown around the edges.

forellepears4) Serve immediately with a dusting of icing (confectioners) sugar or softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Do not open the oven door until the end of the baking time or the clafoutis may collapse. Oh and don’t worry, the clafoutis will deflate a little as it cools. Try it cold…it makes for a lovely breakfast treat. Enjoy!