In recent years, much as cauliflower pushed aside kale as the all-the-rage vegetable, we’ve seen pears begin nudging aside the beloved apple. It was inevitable, really, but it’s a development we can get behind. Pears are incredible, particularly when cooked. Baking concentrates their sweetness; poaching makes them nearly creamy; caramelizing them in a skillet, stovetop, delivers endless happiness. We love pears.
We’re excited to introduce a few new recipes in the following rock-solid, curated roundup of epic pear desserts. Break out your pear corer, folks!
We said it about apples, but it’s just as true of pears: They are gorgeous when mingling with the right savory notes. Think: rosemary, red wine, star anise, and mascarpone. Those are the keys to the success of this knockout poached-pear pie with a rosemary shortbread crust. Cinnamon, lemon juice and star anise combine for the autumnal flavors (and aromas!) you know and love, and mascarpone is just the right silky binder to put everything over the top.
Keep your wallet in your pocket: We know it’s tempting to want to try to give someone, anyone $8 for a slice of this pear cake with cardamom honey. That’s how much it looks plucked straight from the bakery case. But save your money, because you can make this beauty at home, and the only “fancy” equipment you need are a cake pan and a mandoline. This is another dessert featuring spices that make the home redolent of everything autumnal: cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.
Sometimes you have an event that requires you look like you spent several hours preparing something. (Don’t worry; you didn’t!) This pear and frangipane tart fits that bill, and how. It’s just stunning—another one that will have someone at the picnic rocketing your way demanding to know where you bought it. Pro tip: Anjou and Bartlett pears are the ones to buy for this tart, as they hold up during baking without getting mushy.
It’s someone’s birthday, and you didn’t forget, you just got busy, right? Right? You totally still had it on the calendar. Sometimes you need a killer dessert in less than an hour. That’s why you keep puff pastry stashed in the freezer, and this pear tart recipe close at hand. You glaze the thinly sliced pears in butter, maple syrup and cinnamon, giving them an elegant sheen and divine taste.
Pear recipes are more often than not “rustic” or “homey.” Not so these tartlets with pistachios. They look like another $$$ pastry shop purchase, or difficult to execute, but the majority of the hands-off preparation time is sitting with a cup of tea while your sliced pears poach in a bath of wine, sugar, lemon juice, star anise and cinnamon. A dusting of toasted pistachios, a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream, and a coupe of Champagne, and it’s an elegant evening you’ve conjured, indeed.