pears

Pear Cobbler

Pear Cobbler

Cobbler is one of my favorite desserts for this time of year. I really enjoy making this pear cobbler for family and friends.  Like apples, pears always remind me of Fall.

While cobblers can be made with any number of different fruits,  I love using pears. It is one of the simplest desserts you can make from scratch, and one of my favorites, for sure.

In the time it takes to preheat the oven, you can have it ready to bake. This recipe calls for baking mix, like Bisquick. I make my own- recipes follows, but use what you like.

The cobbler is fine served plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. It can also be served cold, but I prefer to serve it warm.

If you prefer, you can also make the cobbler with a combination of pears and apples.

 

 Classic Pear Cobbler

4 c. peeled and sliced pears

½ c. sugar

1 T. plus 2/3 c. baking mix (Like Bisquick or Jiffy Mix or even homemade)- recipe follows

1-2 t. cinnamon

2 T. packed brown sugar

¼ c. butter

2 T. milk

In 1-quart shallow casserole, combine fruit, sugar, 1 tablespoon of the biscuit mix and cinnamon. In medium bowl combine remaining biscuit mix with sugar. Cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in milk to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonfuls over fruit mixture. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into dough comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Serves 4-6.

 

Baking/ Biscuit Mix

8 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered buttermilk
¼ c. baking powder
1 T. salt
2 c. shortening*
Sift dry ingredients together 3 times. Cut in shortening to resemble cornmeal. Keep in an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place and use within six months.

*You can use butter or coconut oil in place of the shortening. Just store in the fridge, if you do. I use coconut oil.

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

This pear-studded cake is perfect to have with that morning cup of coffee- or for dessert. The tender cake is topped with a lot of pears, cubes of cream cheese, cinnamon sugar and a vanilla glaze. The taste is amazing. I used Bartlett pears, but any ripe pear would work. The 4 pears weighed about 2 pounds.

I will say up front, that this is not the prettiest cake out there. It comes out of the oven kind of lumpy, from all those pears and the tiny cubes of cream cheese. Once you top it with the cinnamon sugar, and later the glaze, it looks a lot better. It is one of the tastiest, though, and isn’t that what’s important?

So if you want to enjoy one of my favorite Autumn fruits in a new way- try making this simple, tasty pear coffee cake. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

1 stick (½ cup) butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 c. half and half

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

½ t. salt

2 lbs. pears, about 4 large, cored, peeled and sliced *

8 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces

Topping

3 T. cinnamon sugar

Glaze:

½ c. powdered sugar

1-2 T. milk

½ t. vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, half and half, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking dish, but do not stir. Drain pears well. Add the pears, arranging in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese pieces over fruit. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. When you remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Set cake aside to cool.  Make glaze by combining glaze ingredients. Add just enough milk for a nice consistency for drizzling. Drizzle over cooled cake. Store leftovers in fridge. Serves 12.

 

* To keep pears from discoloring place in a bowl with 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

This pear-studded cake is perfect to have with that morning cup of coffee- or for dessert. The tender cake is topped with a lot of pears, cubes of cream cheese, cinnamon sugar and a vanilla glaze. The taste is amazing. I used Bartlett pears, but any ripe pear would work. The 4 pears weighed about 2 pounds.

I will say up front that this is not the most photogenic cake out there. It comes out of the oven kind of lumpy, from all those pears and the tiny cubes of cream cheese. Once you top it with the cinnamon sugar, and later the glaze, it looks a lot better. It is one of the tastiest, though, and isn’t that what’s important?

So if you want to enjoy one of my favorite Autumn fruits in a new way- try making this simple, tasty pear coffee cake. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

Cinnamon Pear Coffee Cake

1 stick (½ cup) butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 c. half and half

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

½ t. salt

2 lbs. pears, about 4 large, cored, peeled and sliced *

8 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces

Topping

3 T. cinnamon sugar

Glaze:

½ c. powdered sugar

1-2 T. milk

½ t. vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, half and half, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking dish, but do not stir. Drain pears well. Add the pears, arranging in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream cheese pieces over fruit. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. When you remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Set cake aside to cool.  Make glaze by combining glaze ingredients. Add just enough milk for a nice consistency for drizzling. Drizzle over cooled cake. Store leftovers in fridge. Serves 12.

 

* To keep pears from discoloring place in a bowl with 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Duck with Pear Ginger Sauce

Duck with Pear Ginger Sauce

Duck with Pear Ginger Sauce

I love the way duck tastes when served with pears. Duck, with its dark, rich meat really works well with all sorts of fruit. I’ve made sauces and glazes for duck from cherries, prunes, mangoes, peaches and of course, oranges. Since I had several very ripe pears and a duck I was roasting I thought I’d try them together. Oh yum!!

 

I made a simple sauce out of the pears. I peeled them and diced them and put them in a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, about 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, some salt and pepper and a healthy splash of hot sauce. It needed something so I added about a teaspoon and half of grated ginger. That was the missing ingredient. It gave the sauce a nice bite. I simmered the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking. The pears were just starting to fall apart. When the duck was ready to serve I warmed up the sauce and spooned some on the plate.

To roast the duck: Let me say this was a locally grown duck so not as fatty as ducks I get at the grocery store. For the very fatty ducks you need to score the skin and trim off extra fat. If you don’t the skin won’t get crispy and isn’t very appetizing.  Still, I wanted a nice high heat to crisp up the skin. I placed it on a rack in a roasting pan. I did cut up an onion and a small orange and placed them in the cavity. Sprinkled generously with salt and pepper and placed the duck in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then I turned the heat down to 425 until the duck was done. In this case, it was a smallish duck and cooked in about 65 minutes. It is OK if the duck meat is a little pink. Kind of preferred a little pink by most, but cook it to your own comfort level. Let duck rest 10-15 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

I really do like cabbage. I think it gets overshadowed by its botanical cousins like kale and broccoli. Cabbage is loaded with vitamins- including vitamin C – and is so versatile. I could eat cole slaw every day of the week. It also is great in salads, soups and casseroles. Since I was doing a class on cooking with apples and pears I decided to combine these three ingredients together in one dish. I went a little sweet and sour with this one, adding 2 different vinegars and a bit of sugar. You could certainly add bacon or perhaps some hot peppers for variation. I served it as is, but will often stir in some cooked noodles just before serving.

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage- with Apples and Pears

2 T. oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
8 c. shredded cabbage
2 c. chopped apples and pears, peeled if desired
½ c. cider vinegar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
¼ sugar, or more to suit your taste
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in oil until golden brown. Add cabbage and fruit and cook over medium high heat, stirring often until cabbage is wilted. Add remaining ingredients and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Adjust seasonings. Serves 4-6.
Note: You can serve this dish just as it is or you can add 8 oz. of cooked noodles when you add the vinegar for cabbage and noodles. Some people also like to make this dish with crumbled bacon or diced ham.

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