It’s high season for this sweet and juicy fruit
Pears are eminently edible straight from the fruit bowl when in season, but only after a few days of ripening off the tree. The intense flavor and luscious juice that drips onto your chin are the signs of a truly ripe pear. Pears also pair up well with other food, especially pork, cinnamon and stronger cheeses, such as Gorgonzola or a really good Parmesan. Read on for some of our favorites.
Set a delectable autumn table using pears as namecards and tabletop decor. Wicker placemats, $6.25; Spode oval platter, $45; Spode plaid dessert plate, $14; Spode B&B plate $25.75; amber wine glass, $10; India Overseas napkin, $5.75; Sevan plaid throw as tablecloth, $47.25. All from Nell Hill’s in Briarcliff Village. Flower arrangements from Bergamot & Ivy Design in the Crossroads.
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Want to capture the heady scent and delicate taste of pears in a cocktail? Consider using one of these pear liqueurs. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Clear Creek Distillery Pear Liqueur from Oregon, $22.99; Clear Creek Eau de Vie de Poire, $79.99; Belle de Brillet pear and cognac liqueur from France, $53.99; Williams-Birne Black Forest Williams Pear Brandy from Germany, $53.99; Williams Birne Williams Christ Bear Brandy, $64.99. All available from Gomer’s Midtown in Westport. Or try your hand at making your own. OPPOSITE: Simon Pearce decanter, $130; Simon Pearce stemmed glass, $60; wood board, $75. All from Halls on Grand in Crown Center. Plaid flannel blanket, $36.50, Nell Hill’s.
2 ripe pears, divided
1 vanilla bean
1 cup brandy
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Wash and chop one pear, discarding the seeds and core. Leave the skin on. Split and scrape the vanilla bean.
Place one chopped pear and the vanilla bean in a sealable glass jar and cover with brandy. The jar should have enough room to add another cup of liquid later in the process. Seal and shake, then let steep for 2 days. Remove vanilla bean, and then let steep for another 3 days.
Chop the second pear, discarding the seeds and core. Add it to a pot, along with the water and sugar, then stir and bring to a boil on medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let the syrup mixture cool
Once cooled, pour the syrup (with the fruit) into the steeping jar. Shake and let steep for 2 days. Taste, and if desired flavor is achieved, strain through a fine mesh strainer and then a coffee filter into a bottle or jar.
Have your butcher French your pork chops for a prettier presentation, like these from the Broadway Butcher Shop. Vietri bowl, $40; Juliska “Villandry” stainless steel flatware, $95 per place setting; Deborah Rhodes linen napkin, $26; Kim Seybert round wood placemat, $21; Jan Barboglio gold-rimmed votive holder, $52. All from Halls on Grand. Barmioli stemmed glass, $5.99, from Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities in Westport. Flowers from Bergamot & Ivy Design.
Spiced pears poached in red wine look dramatic and taste just as good as they look. Grasslands Road ceramic pears dipped in gold, large, $22; medium, $16.99; small, $12.99. Canvas Home dessert plate, $21; DII for the Home napkin, $4.99; dessert fork, $3. All from Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities.