It’s pear season and a friend with a very productive tree called asking if I wanted any pears this year, she had used all she wanted and did not want to see the fruit go to waste. Yes! The next day, which was as perfect an autumn day as we have ever had, Robert & I went and picked pears. He climbed for a few more, shook the tree a lot while I stood on an overturned bait bucket. Our friend was out for the day & her ladder had a new home in their new shop. We brought home four clothes baskets and a five gallon bucket full. We shared with Ms. C (who always shares her finds) and two friends who just wanted a few to eat.
This is the second time we have picked pears from this tree & it seems to be a good producer with mostly large fruit. The pears seem to be more of a dessert (cooking) pear than fresh eating though if you do not mind a more “gritty” texture the raw pears are also good. One down side is the pears do not seem to keep very long. Maybe we are picking them dead ripe and they need to be picked green to store I just don’t know. Last time we ended up giving the chickens a fruit feast because they went from too hard to cut to mush in about a week. The too hard this weekend lets try next…now they are mush disaster. This year the ones with dings are getting used right away (if possible) or passed on to friends, the green and more perfect ones are stored in both drawers of the refrigerator to see if that increases their shelf life. The long range plans have always included growing our own pears but perhaps not so many especially until the storage problem is solved.
The second problem is there just are not that many recipes for preserving pears. Or there are not many recipes for using pears period. Lots for variations on baked pears with a flavored sauce and that’s just about it. For canning there is plain pears canned in a syrup or pear honey (from Ms. C) and that seems to be the extent of the choices. I have been digging around old cook books to find ways to use ours. One recipe seems to be a keeper & Grits asked on facebook for the recipe. The actual recipe first.
1 12 ounce package cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
5 medium Bartlett pears
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
Heavy cream (optional)
1. In a three quart saucepan, combine first seven ingredients. Over high heat, heat mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
2. Peel pears. Cut each lengthwise in half; remove cores and slice pears. Arrange pear slices on tip of the cranberry mixture, overlapping the slices to fit.
3. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare Cobbler Topping: In bowl mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Add whipping cream to dry ingredients in bowl, stir gently with fork until the dough leaves the side of the bowl. Crumble the topping over the pear layer.
5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the topping is golden and fruit mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve cobbler warm.
6. If you like, pour heavy cream over each serving. Or cool cobbler completely to serve later. To reheat, just before serving, place cobbler in 400F oven for 10 minutes to heat through.
Like all those steps? Do you really think that is what I did?
Perhaps you recognized those first seven ingredients of step one as homemade cranberry sauce? I do not have packaged fresh cranberries but there is some whole berry cranberry sauce in the pantry. The can was opened, the sauce placed in a microwave proof bowl. The bowl and contents were heated in the microwave in 45 second intervals stirring between times, until it was soft and mixable.
My pears were peeled, cored and cut into chunks as alike as possible but its a cobbler so I’m not stressing over perfection. There was a blister forming on my finger from the peeler so perfection was a low priority.
Oh from looking at other recipes those 5 large pears seems to equal 4 cups of diced pears. Dump diced pears into warm cranberries and mix – this will help keep the pears from getting dark while you continue to cut and dice.
The whole wheat flour had bugs so white flour all the way. Around here cream is nicknamed “whole milk”. I rarely add salt to anything. I doubled the recipe because I like lots of stuff in my cobblers and there are seven of us.
I may have not doubled something in the topping because mine was not quite a batter but not quite crumbly either. It was more place blobs on the top which did not seem right but after (just now) looking at the picture in the cookbook it was probably fine. There was extra topping so in the future it will be double the fruit but not the topping.
My pears were not soft and mushy they were tender but firm. Take that however you want. It was a nice change from my usual mushy but mushy rules in cobbler too. And anyone knows that if warm cobbler is topped with anything it is vanilla ice cream – which we did not have but would have been nice with the tart sweet taste.
*Recipe from: The Good Housekeeping All-American Cookbookpublished by The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. with permission of Hearst Books, an affiliate of William Morrow & Company, Inc. Copyright 1987.
One Response to “For Pear Season: Cranberry Pear Cobbler”