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Feb 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘pears’

Recipe: Pear and Currant Compote

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017



One of my favorite items to take to holiday gatherings is an interesting jam or compote to accompany a cheese board. Consider recipes of years past: spiced carrot jam, onion jam and, if you want to go way back with me, bacon jam. I love bringing the host something delicious in a pretty glass jar, something they can put out immediately on a cheese tray or add to their holiday meal later.

This combination of pears, ginger and currants is perfect when paired with goat cheese, mascarpone or sharp cheddar. It is equally delicious on pork tenderloin sandwiches or with smoked or roasted turkey. The black pepper enhances the pungent crystallized ginger, and the texture is lovely with bits of chewy currant and ginger in each bite.

This recipe is pretty forgiving. You can use a mix of ripe and underripe pears, though you may have to add water or more orange juice to reach your desired consistency. This is closer to a compote than a jam, but you can use an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother texture.


Pear and Currant Compote
2 cups

3 cups diced ripe pear, peeled and cored
¾ cup sugar
½ cup currants
¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
½ cup water, as needed
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer the pears, currants, sugar, ginger, orange juice and zest 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water as needed, until the pears are softened.
• Mash the pears with a potato masher to reach the desired consistency, and stir in the black pepper. Let cool, then store in a sealed jar up to 2 weeks.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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By the Book: Warm Pear Crumble

Saturday, March 28th, 2015



I love cooking seasonally. I refuse to buy zucchinis and tomatoes in winter, and I question the logic behind serving butternut squash risotto in June. But about this time each year, I find my resolve weakening. I’m desperate for something green and raw, and the thought of roasting one more carrot or sweet potato is enough to send me into fits. Are supermarket summer squashes imported from South America really so bad?

So when Veronica Bosgraaf’s Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes crossed my desk, I immediately flipped to her March recipes. Bosgraaf, who rose to fame with her line of organic snack bars, penned this cookbook to make simple, season-driven vegetarian meals using whole, unprocessed ingredients. Each chapter is dedicated to a month of produce, and as a fellow Midwesterner (she lives in Michigan), I imagine Bosgraaf can relate to my longing for springtime seasonality.




Recipes for March still include those winter ingredients (oranges, carrots, cabbage, potatoes) and while she isn’t breaking any new ground with her dishes (curried carrot soup, pickled vegetables) they are definitely welcome respite from roasted everything. I chose to test Warm Pear Crumble, arguing that if we must eat winter produce, I wanted it paired with ice cream.




Sauce intern Tori Sgarro had no trouble following Bosgraaf’s clear, simple instructions, though the recipe took nearly two hours after all the prep work and baking time. As with all crumble recipes, Team Sauce agreed that we wanted double the buttery, almond-oat topping. Admittedly that cuts down the health factor, but isn’t the buttery crust the real reason people make crumbles in the first place? The pear filling, while plentiful, fell flat; a pinch of salt did wonders to enhance the fruit flavor, and next time I’ll add depth with a bit of cinnamon or grated nutmeg. We served our crumble with a scoop of Serendipity’s Big O Ginger ice cream, which played nicely with the fresh ginger and added necessary richness.




Warm Pear Crumble
4 to 6 servings

¼ cup (½ stick) plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger
6 firm, ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup almond meal
2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter and set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the honey, tapioca starch, lemon juic, and ginger. Add the pears and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
• Meanwhile, put the oats in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the almond meal, sugar and salt. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter and, using a fork, blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
• Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the crumble topping over the pears. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the top is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
• Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

How do you get creative with winter produce in the last days before spring vegetables finally arrive? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Pure Food.

By the Book: Dixie Grimes’ Roasted Pear and Zucchini Soup

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014



“Little House on the Prairie” was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. Even though I always rooted for little Laura Ingalls to best her nemesis, richy-poo Nellie Olsen, I had a soft spot for Nellie’s dad. Poor Mr. Olsen! Despite marrying a pushy wife who spoiled their daughter rotten, he was just a nice guy trying to run a general mercantile in a tiny town. God, how I love general mercantiles in tiny towns! That’s why I snatched The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook as soon as it arrived at the Sauce HQ.

Released just two weeks ago, The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook tells the feel-good story of how a small Mississippi grocery store/cafe has played a part in the revival of a small community since opening in 2010. B.T.C. owner and now author Alexe Van Beuren shares the ups and downs of operating her store and eatery, including the lucky hiring of B.T.C. chef Dixie Grimes, whose 120 down-home recipes and the story behind each span the pages of this fun cookbook.

I chose to prepare Roasted Pear and Zucchini Soup. According to Van Beuren, it is B.T.C.’s most celebrated soup “mostly because it’s the most esoteric and was featured in the New York Times. It’s also really, really good.”




Most of the active time for this easy recipe will be spent peeling and slicing pears. The recipe calls for Bosc pears, but Van Beuren never explains why. If you don’t have Bosc, Anjou should be fine.




Once the pears have roasted in the oven, they go in the stockpot with an onion, shallots, garlic and lots and lots of zucchini.




While the ingredient list for this soup is long, don’t let that stop you. A good half of the ingredients are kitchen staples, mainly spices. If you keep a well-stocked kitchen, all you’ll really need to purchase is the produce: pears, zucchini and spinach.

After the ingredients marry after an hour in the stockpot, the soup is puréed, then cream is added. The recipe calls for a stick of butter at the finish, but honestly, it didn’t need a thing at that point – except a few slices of chunky, hearty bread on the side. The dish is tasty, and I especially enjoyed the licorice undertones imparted by Pernod (a brand of absinthe) and ground anise. It was the perfect choice for a soup in early spring.




Dixie Grimes’ Roasted Pear and Zucchini Soup
6 to 8 servings

8 ripe yet firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch slices
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
6 to 7 medium zucchini, diced (8 cups)
2 Tbsp. Pernod
8 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or vegetable stock
2 cups apple juice
1 Tbsp. honey
2 cups fresh spinach
¼ cup pear or apple butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. ground anise or ground fennel
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. granulated onion
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. white pepper
4 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the pears in 4 tablespoons of the oil and spread them out flat on the baking sheet. Roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
• In an 8-quart stockpot set over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the pears, onions and shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the Pernod and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and apple juice and bring to a simmer. Add the honey, spinach, pear butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, anise, granulated garlic, granulated onion, mustard, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and white pepper. Simmer for 1 hour.
• Remove the pan from the heat, and using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée until smooth. Add the cream and bring the soup back to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cold butter.
• Serve hot. The soup can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days.

Thanks to Planter’s House for supplying the absinthe used in this recipe.

Reprinted with permission from Running Press

What is the most esoteric soup you’ve ever eaten? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Steve, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won a copy of Come In, We’re Closed. Steve, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.


31 Days of Salad: Billy G’s Cider-Poached Pear Salad

Saturday, January 4th, 2014



Billy G’s poaches Bosc pears in a mix of cider, vinegar and spices to give them super fruity flavor and snappy texture. It comes fanned atop mixed greens, blue cheese and toasted pecans. A champagne vinaigrette has the perfect amount of acidity to stand up to the sweetness of the fruit.

And for more about this new spot in Kirkwood, checkout our review of Billy G’s in this month’s Nightlife.



Baked: Pear crostata

Monday, June 18th, 2012

I’ve never been a huge fan of cooked fruits. I love fresh fruits paired with dessert, but once they get soft and mushy, my excitement often wanes. My eyes have never lit up at an apple pie or any sort of cobbler. But of late, I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone. That – and my boyfriend bought way too many pears and nectarines from Soulard Farmers Market this week.

I used the nectarines to make a nectarine-ginger ice cream and thought I’d try something I’d seen online a lot: crostata. Every single blogger talks about how easy a crostata is to make, and now that I’ve tried it, I wholeheartedly agree. Instead of rolling out pie crust, arranging it in a pie tin, making a filling and then rolling out a second crust to place on top, a crostata requires just one crust. The fruit is tossed in flavoring agents and then arranged on top. The edges of the crust are folded over, and the whole thing bakes up for a gorgeously simple and appetizing snack.

I thinly sliced the pears myself, although I suppose a mandolin would come in handy for this recipe. I also made the pie crust myself, which I found very easy. But if you’re short on time and trust a particular brand, feel free to buy a store-bought version. The crostata itself was very light and not too sweet. Although I still thought the pear was a bit too cooked for my taste, family and friends found it to be the ideal afternoon snack, while the boyfriend enjoyed it as breakfast – so much so, in fact, that he asked me to make a second crostata with the leftover crust that same week.

P.S. One of my friends drizzled a little extra honey on her slice for a touch more sweetness. Feel free to adjust as you please.

Pear Crostata
6 to 8 Servings
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on blog.justinablakeny.com

1 to 2 large pears
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ Tbsp. honey
Pinch cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
1 9-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
Splash heavy cream
2 Tbsp. coarse, turbinado sugar (available at Trader Joe’s)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice the pears very thinly. Combine the pear slices in a bowl with the vanilla, honey, cardamom, nutmeg and lemon juice.
• Roll the pie crust out into a 9-inch oval on a large sheet of parchment paper.
• Arrange the pears in a circle atop the crust, leaving 2 inches around the edges. Fold the crust over and pinch over the pears.
• Brush the crust with some heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
• Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the fruit is soft.
• Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Pie Crust
Makes enough for 1 double- or 2 single-crust pies
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on SmittenKitchen.com

2½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, chilled
¾ cup ice cold water

• Fill a 1-cup measuring cup with water and drop an ice cube in it.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt with a whisk.
• Cube the butter and sprinkle over the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix together until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
• Drizzle half of the cold water over the mixture, and use a spatula to gather the dough together.
• Pour in a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball.
• Divide the dough in half and wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap.
• Let chill for at least 1 hour, or freeze for later use.

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