This fall I have been making a number of pear recipes: pear cordial ( a first), pear cakes and tarts, pear muffins, pear coffee cakes and pear sauce (like apple sauce). I want to share a couple recipes that I think are outstanding. The first is for a Pear Pizza that I found on AllRecipes.com.
serves 4 (or 2 if you are really hungry)
1 (16 ounce) package refrigerated pizza crust dough
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced (I used 1.5)
2 ounces chopped walnuts ( used about 1/2 cup and toasted them ahead of time...a must)
2 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I used sage which I think drove the pizza from good to great)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Place pizza crust dough on a large baking sheet or pizza stone that has been dusted with cornmeal . Layer with Provolone cheese. (I did not have provolone so used Gruyere and that worked just fine, if not finer.)Top cheese with Bosc pear slices. Sprinkle with walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese and sage. If using chives, wait to add them to the pizza after it is done baking.
Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Remove from heat. This is a simple, quick entree for busy days or to serve as an appetizer when yo are having friends over.
Marcella's Pear Cake (from the Essential New York Times Cook Book.)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I ground panko in the food processor)
2 lg. eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
tiny pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 lbs. ripe Bosc pears
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Position oven rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 350. Butter a 9" cake pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Gently tap the pan over the sink to shake out loose crumbs.
Beat the eggs with the milk in a mixer.. Add sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixing thoroughly.
Peel the pears, slice in half, core and seed. Cut lengthwise into thin slices and add to the batter. The batter will be pretty thick.
Spoon the batter into the pan, leveling it off with a spatula. Dot the surface with the butter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. ( I actually turned on the broiler for a minute or so to brown it because I thought the cake was done [clean tooth pick test] but it was not yet lightly browned. This worked well.) Cool slightly on a rack.
Remove cake from the pan as soon as it is cool. Serve warm or at room temp. So so good.
* For those who may be interested in why my pears are lumpy, it turns out my tree has stony pit disease. After sleuthing around a bit, I discovered that there is no treatment for this problem. It is a disease that lives in the tree and will not spread from tree to tree. It is spread by grafting. Bosc pears are the most susceptible to this affliction. Some years the stony pits are worse than others and researches suspect harsher winters are the cause, but they do not know for sure. I just bought a new tree called Luscious Summer- I love that. These trees rarely develop stony pit.