Apples come to mind first when most people think of fall fruit. And yes, they are great–these six apple snack and dessert recipes are proof–but they’ll also be around for a while. Right now, I’m all about seizing the moment with pears–which, by the way, have more potassium, fiber and folate than apples. Pears are just as versatile as apples but beyond eating them plain, I love them most in dessert. Check out these five easy pear dessert recipes and, to help make sure that they come out perfectly, check out our quick guide to choosing ripe pears.
How to select and store pears
There are as many as ten common varieties of pears that you can find in conventional supermarkets. Although they vary in flavor and texture, you select them all the same. Pears are ready to eat when they are firm everywhere but at the very top, around the stem, where they’ll give a little when pressed. Pears ripen off of the tree so you can buy them totally firm if you don’t plan on eating them right away.
Pears will ripen sitting out on your counter. If you want to speed up the process, place them in a paper bag and roll the top closed.
Choosing the right pear for your recipe
When ripe, most pears are delicious plain, but Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Comice and Seckel pears are my favorites for eating raw. Comice are particularly good for raw pear desserts like pears with yogurt and honey, which is a favorite in my house. Bosc and Anjou pears are great for keeping their shape in baked goods; Bosc are particularly great for poaching. Bartlett have the most traditional “pear flavor” but tend to fall apart when cooked which makes them good for pear sauce, muffins and other recipes where that’s a good thing.
Pear dessert recipes
Now that you know how to pair your pears with a recipe, let’s get to it! These five easy pear desserts will surely get you excited for fall. Or at least for pear season.
I have no words for this Pear Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream (pictured very top and above) from the Pioneer Woman. Simple and classic, this fall dessert is easy comfort for those of us mourning the end of summer.
These Brown Butter Pear Muffins (pictured under “Choosing the right pear” and above) are a healthy take on a cake that Kristin from a Pastry Affair fell in love with years ago. I love that while the flavors are the stuff of a decadent dessert, these muffins are actually simple, relatively low in sugar and made partially with whole wheat flour.
These Apple, Pear and Cinnamon Mini Pies look and sound complicated but are actually a cinch to make thanks to store-bought puff pastry, and you can even leave the apples out if you want to be a pear purist. Halve the recipe to make these as a quick surprise Sunday night dessert just for your family. (Yes, the recipe is easy enough that you can actually do that.)
Dessert doesn’t necessarily mean baked goods. These Chocolate Dipped Pears with Almond Crunch sound heavenly and only require three ingredients. This special–and easy–dessert is just as perfect for a weeknight treat as it is for an elegant dinner party. Either way, these are sure to make everyone happy.
Vanilla Spice Poached Pears from The Crepes of Wrath are another great, fast dessert. Healthy too, unless, of course, you smother these babies in vanilla ice cream. Not that I’m advocating for that. (I totally am.)
Be sure to follow our Food (nom nom nom) Pinterest board for more delicious inspiration.