Autumn and early winter is the best time to enjoy the pale, sweet flesh of pears. Their slightly grainy texture, and nectar like juice make them a delightful change from the crisper, tarter apple we have been eating in abundance all fall.
Pears are loaded with fiber if you eat them with the skin, 6 grams per fruit. They also contain a decent amount of potassium and a little vitamin C.
The most common varieties include:
- Bartlett: golden yellow with a pink blush.
- D'Anjou: more of a winter pear, rounder and greener than Bartlett.
- Bosc: a deep autumn copper color, with a long slender neck. It holds it shape well when cooked, so would be a good choice in the pear cake recipe below
- Comice: the pear of choice for dessert, sweet and juicy, almost has no neck, and is greenish-yellow.
Pears ripen best off the tree. They ripen from the inside out, so a soft exterior may indicate a beginning to rot interior. Buy pears firm and ripen at home in a ventilated brown paper bag.