When it comes to fall fruits, pears have always played second string to apples. Going pear picking or bobbing for pears simply doesn’t have a cachet to it the way it does with a McIntosh or Golden Delicious, nor does one become the teacher’s pet by gifting a Bosc or an Anjou.
But for everything that the apple has popularity-wise, the pear matches in succulence, sweetness, and an abundance of floral overtones. It can fit right in to savory and sweet recipes, tango with cheeses, and sweeten up your morning breakfast. You might even say that anything the apple can do, the pear can do better.
In fact, the pear is such a wonderful, versatile fruit that you could slip it into all three meals of the day, then enjoy it with your drinks and dessert, too. In that spirit, here are eleven pear recipes to take you from dawn to dusk.
1. Yogurt Trifle with Pomegranate, Pear, and Dates
What’s better than one amazing fall fruit? Three amazing fall fruits, of course. Pear teams up here with pomegranate and dates for yogurt cup that teems with the flavors of the harvest season. Get our Yogurt Trifle with Pomegranate, Pear, and Dates recipe.
2. Wild Rice Porridge with Cardamom, Pecan, and Pear
Tired of your morning oatmeal? Totally over cereal? Wild rice puts a welcome spin on morning grains, getting a little help from the sweetness of honey and pears along the way. Get our Wild Rice Porridge with Cardamom, Pecan, and Pear recipe.
3. Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches should be about way more than just the cheese. They’re also a fantastic medium for pairing and pitting flavors against one another. Take a cue from this gouda and Asian pear combo on rye, which brings the nuttiness of the cheese up against the crisp and refreshing fruit. Get our Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese recipe.
4. Pear and Spinach Salad
Lunchtime salads will fill you up without giving you the urge to take afternoon siesta. But as a centerpiece dish, they can’t suffice on iceberg lettuce and mealy tomatoes alone. By using a robust green, like spinach, and a substantial fruit topping, you get all the heft you need to carry you through the PM doldrums. Get our Pear and Spinach Salad recipe.
5. Pear and Feta Bites
Pears sneak their way into hors d’oeuvres hour on these tiny endive boats. Sitting alongside briny feta and the tart kiss of lemon, they have enough punch to rock any festive occasion. Get our Pear and Feta Bites recipe.
6. Celery and Pear Soup
If cream of celery from a can comes to mind when setting your eyes upon this recipe, think again. This soup is a subtle exercise in pitting salty and against sweet, matching the saline savoriness of celery with pear’s honeyed juices. Get our Celery and Pear Soup recipe.
7. Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears
Roasting allows pears to reach their most concentrated, tenderest heights. That level of succulence can hold its own next to the meaty mains on just about any dinner table. Get our Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears recipe.
8. Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Pork gets along notoriously well with fruits, from apples to currants and beyond. Pears and jammy figs are no exception, making for a pairing that signals the start of fall. Get our Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe.
9. Skillet Pear Cake
Halved pears are a stunning topper on a cake. But they’re not just pretty, they’re functional, too, collecting decadent pools of buttery, sweet syrup in their hollowed out cores. Get our Skillet Pear Cake recipe.
10. Gingered Pears in Phyllo Cups
Few things wouldn’t taste good wrapped up in a phyllo package, but these little treats with pear, walnut, and ginger do an exceptionally good job of filling out those flaky layers. Get our Gingered Pears in Phyllo Cups recipe.
11. Spiced Brandy-Pear Punch
You can drink your pears too, you know. This potent punch contains the fruit three ways: juiced, in cider, and as fresh slices that glide and float across the bowl. Get our Spiced Brandy-Pear Punch recipe.
Header image: Skillet Pear Cake from CHOW
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.