Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dates for the Perfect Pear

Summer has its flashy fruit, the small, colorful, juicy berries of June and July and the succulent melons of August and September. But come Labor Day, I start yearning for the subtlety of autumn fruits, especially pears.

Why? I like that they're compact and portable with minimal fuss, like apples, only softer. I like that a ripe pear offers a sweet, thick juice that needs nothing more on its own but becomes deep and rich when poached in wine (or mead) or drizzled with honey or chocolate. And I love how its unassuming, delicate flavor pairs well with some of my other favorite flavors: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts.

So it should come as no surprise that I've bought beautiful little Bartlett pears at the farmers' market for two weeks in a row. Aside from enjoying the occasional fruit solo, I've started this year's batch of pear-ginger liqueur and baked a rich, luscious pear-hazelnut torte.

This week I decided to try a recipe variation that has been in my mind since last fall, taking my scrumptious date-fruit bar recipe and using pears in place of the blueberries I last used in it. This, of course, meant a change in spices, as well, with an emphasis on ginger (the mini diced candied kind, my favorite) and a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.

What's not to love here? Locally milled oats and whole wheat flour, local pears, rich dates my parents picked up in California, velvety butter and deep spices... it's a grown-up twist on a classic favorite, sure to please everyone.

And it suits me perfectly.


At 9/25/2006 10:31 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

sigh... oh, how I miss being around to help with quality control!


At 9/27/2006 7:32 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

And I miss having you around for quality control! Because these would not have shipped well... too moist.

That's not to say that you can't come and visit, you know... ;-)


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