Sweet, juicy, and satisfying, pears are the underdogs of the fruit world. There’s a reason they’re always the first pieces gone from the fruit bowl. One of the most versatile fruits out there, pears are delicious on their own or as part of a cheese plate or salad, and they're also great for baking, juicing, or roasting.
Packed with fiber (one medium-sized pear contains six grams of fiber or about 24 percent of the daily value), it's an ideal ingredient to keep on hand as part of a healthy, wholesome lifestyle. Carefully harvested by hand, pears ripen off the tree, which means they have a long storage life—great for stocking up on and having at the ready. (You probably already know that leaving pears in a paper bag on the counter will help them ripen faster, but you might not know that adding an apple or banana to the bag can speed up the process.)
Whether you’re slicing up a Bartlett, Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Bosc, or another variety, you'll find no shortage of ways to put this tasty fruit to good use. See below for five of our favorite ways to cook with pears.
Roasted Pear Crumble With Honey Yogurt
For an elegant dessert that’s fit for a special occasion but not too rich or cloyingly sweet, this roasted pear crumble makes a fine choice. Featuring roasted Anjou pears topped with a crumble of oats, almonds, and cinnamon and served atop honey-drizzled yogurt, this dessert is as simple to make as it is impressive, and it won’t weigh you down. A piece of advice? Roast a few extra pears—you might want to eat this again for breakfast the next morning.
Winter Greens With Roasted Pears and Pecorino
Wedges of firm, sweet pear are roasted before they’re mixed into this hearty winter salad. The pear’s concentrated sweetness perfectly balances the slightly bitter greens and salty, freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Finished with a tart and snappy vinaigrette, this salad will quickly become a staple on your wintertime table.
Green Pear Juice
Turn green juice from an obligatory nutrient vessel into a drink that tastes as good as it makes you feel. Here, two pears blended with a bunch of kale, fresh ginger, cucumber, and lemon juice make for an energizing juice that will kick your day into gear.
These moist pear and cardamom muffins are perfect for breakfast and brunch, smeared with warm butter and honey. The simple and flavorful batter comes together in less than 10 minutes, and it combines the subtle sweetness of baked pears with the warm spice of cardamom. The muffins will stay fresh for up to three days, but they won’t last nearly that long.
Pear and Ginger Preserves
Pears perfectly mellow out the sharp spice of fresh and crystalized ginger in this preserve, and the fruit and spices are simmered with sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until their flavor has concentrated. The syrupy jam is perfect on muffins (like the pear-cardamom variety above), toast, or stored away for a special occasion.