Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Pears everywhere

It's hard to walk across our patio without being hit on the head by a big, falling pear.

Whomp! Guess I need to get out there and pick them.

I'm never quite sure what to do with pears, other than slice them and eat them with cheese or poach them in wine. You can't really put them on cereal, pear cake isn't as interesting as apple cake, and I'm not into making elaborate tarts and stuff just to get a few pear slices on top. Pear jam? Pear sauce? Brandied pears?

Tonight I researched pear soup and came up with a surprising number of recipes. Some of them date back to European medieval cookery.

Categories include:
• Sweet, chilled pear soup: usually with other fruits, pureed, seasoned with aniseed, and often served for dessert.
• Savory squash and pear soup. All sorts of squashes, sweet potatoes or yams join pears and onions.
• Pear soup with melted brie: involves chicken broth and sounds pretty good.
• The weird ones: pear soup with broccoli, etc...
• My favorite: roasted eggplant, red pepper and pear soup. The recipe, credited to the Mistral Restaurant in California, makes 3-1/2 gallons of the stuff and involves 14 pears.

Turns out you can stuff pears with cheese (blue cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese) and bake or grill them.

And I did manage to come up with a recipe for brandied pears:

Scald and peel the fruit; make a syrup of half a pound of sugar to each pound of fruit; drop in the pears, and, when done, put in jars. Boil syrup a little longer, and allow it to cool; then add one pint of brandy to each quart of syrup, and pour over the pears.

Bon apetit!


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