First Taste of Fall!

Summer has flown by, and while I never want to wish it away, I LOVE the fall.  For me, the first sign that it’s on the way is the beginning of the USA Pear harvest.

Among the first of the season: this Green Bartlett that showed up at the office yesterday.  I can’t wait for it to ripen up – it’s the only major variety that will noticeably change skin color from green to yellow as it ripens.  But of course, my go-to test for ripeness for any variety is to Check the Neck!

These delicious little beauties are en route to Moscow, Russia, for sampling.  But they’ll start popping up soon in your local grocery stores, if they haven’t already, along with Red Bartletts and Starkrimson.  These early season varieties are at center stage now – while the Anjou, Bosc, and others are still on the trees – so enjoy the first fresh, juicy, sweet, and delicious taste of fall!

pears

The Time is Ripe for Pears: New York

Well, we turned the Big Apple into the Big Pear for a few days! We had a great visit to New York City – we ate delicious food, shared ins-pear-ation with shoppers, and visited some of Manhattan’s most famous neighborhoods.

At PUBLIC Restaurant, Chef Brad Farmerie shared the pear love – watch this video to hear what he thinks about pears!

(Visit our YouTube page for another fun outtake with Chef Brad.)

We also served up fresh pears at the Whole Foods Market in Tribeca, where shoppers raved about the sweet and juicy Bartletts.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Ground Zero, home to a new memorial – and one very hardy pear tree! Unfortunately, tickets were sold out for the day, but we snapped a photo of the new buildings in progress.

 

Chef Brad also shared his recipe for Maple Poached Pears. He says, “These spicy poached pears have become a staple on PUBLIC’s menu year after year during pear season and beyond, as it is also a great way to preserve pears after the season has passed. The bright beautiful red color and the sweet/sour/spicy combination marry well with the pear’s texture and flavor to enhance a wide variety of dishes—used in salads with blue cheese and toasted nuts or with seared foie gras and salty bacon. I think our current incarnation, Black Pudding Waffles with Spicy Poached Pears and Whipped Foie Gras Butter, is potentially the most decadently delicious breakfast item I have ever tasted. Feel free to stop by the restaurant to find out!”

Ingredients
2 ½ cinnamon sticks
2 ½ star anise
¼ of a red chili pepper
2 bottles affordable red wine
½ lemongrass stem, lightly crushed with the back of the knife
2 cups light brown sugar
½ thumb fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
½ cup sugar
5 Anjou USA Pears, peeled

Directions
In a large pot combine all of the ingredients except the pears and bring to a boil. This will cook off the alcohol and give the pears a more nuanced flavor.

Add the pears and bring the ingredients back to boiling. Make a cartouche by using parchment paper cut to the size of your sauce pan and cover the pears. Lower the heat and cook until a knife slides in and out of the pear easily (time varies based on ripeness of the pears and cooking temperature).

Take the pot off the heat and cool the pears in the liquid. Refrigerate the pears in the liquid until you are ready to use.

Stay tuned for more – we’re headed to Atlanta later this week! And don’t forget to join our sweepstakes on Facebook, where you could win a trip for two to one of eight U.S. cities – or a box of fresh pears to your doorstep!