You know that whole “don’t judge a book by its cover,” thing? I’ve always been pretty decent about that when it actually comes to books, but pretty terrible when it comes to food (especially when I was younger).
One bad experience with a certain food could turn me off of that food for months or even years, and one of the foods that fell into this category for a long time was pears.
I once tried a pear at a friend’s house when I was 6 or 7. Unfortunately, this particular pear was well past its prime and was mealy and had a very off-taste.
I’d had pears before, but this bad experience stuck, so I was convinced for a long time that I didn’t like pears anymore. Recently, when a local friend offered me a bushel of pears from her tree’s abundance, I hesitated but decided to give pears another shot. I’m so glad I did, because her fresh organic pears were nothing like that mealy overripe pear I’d tried when I was a kid and I found that I really did enjoy the taste of fresh pears.
Glazed Pears Recipe
I’d just finished re-reading French Kids Eat Everything, and was on a French food kick, so I decided to try a recipe for glazed pears that I found in an old French cookbook I had. I made some adaptions to make it a one-pan recipe and could not be more pleased with how it turned out.
Pears are so inexpensive in many stores and farmers markets right now and this is an excellent fall recipe to try!
This recipe uses only natural sweeteners, but like any dessert is a special treat and not an everyday recipe. My general rule is that most nights, I will serve my kids fresh fruit after meals if they are still hungry and once a week I will make a nutrient dense real food dessert.
Glazed Pears Recipe
Yield 6 +
One-pan glazed pears naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and spiced with vanilla and cinnamon for a quick and decadent dessert.
- 8 fresh pears
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 vanilla beans, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or organic)
- About 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
- 1/2 cup (or more) chopped pecans (to top)
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- Homemade whipped cream to top (optional) or whipped coconut cream.
- This recipe can be made with whole pears or pears cut into wedges. Either way, peel the pears. I peeled, cored and sliced the pears into wedges for faster cooking.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Add the pears and cook over medium heat until the pears start to soften and brown slightly.
- Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and orange juice and continue to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, uncovered, until juice reduces down and pears are soft all the way through. At this point, the juice, syrup and spice mixture will also start to form a glaze. Add raisins if using.
- If using brandy, add to the pan and flambe. This is done by exposing the alcohol in the pan to fire from a match or gas burner and then swirling the pan until the flame subsides. If you aren't familiar with this technique or don't want to do it, the alcohol can be omitted, or the mixture can just be simmered for an additional few minutes to evaporate off the alcohol. The flambe does impart a deeper, richer, flavor if you are able to do it.
- Remove from heat and top with chopped pecans and whipped cream, if using.
How do you make pears? Do you prefer them fresh or cooked?