Juicy, sweet, fragrant pears taste so good and are so good for you. Scrumptious solo, they also partner well with many other foods and flavors, including cheese, chocolate, ginger, black pepper and honey. You can use them raw in salads and desserts or poach, bake, grill, roast or sauté pears in sweet and savory dishes.

There are over 5,000 different kinds of pears. Some well-known varieties are Anjou, Bartlett and Comice pears, which all have a mouth-watering, buttery texture. There are also spicy-tasting Bosc pears and crunchy Asian pears. Forelle and Seckel pears make great garnishes and kids’ snacks, because of their smaller size.

Pears are one of the few fruits that are better harvested under ripe. Leave hard pears to soften and ripen at room temperature on your kitchen table or countertop. Ripe pears are delicate and should be stored in the refrigerator.

Thanks to their sweet, distinctive flavor, pears have a great culinary range. They make wonderful sauces, compotes and butters. They also taste heavenly teamed with greens and robust cheeses, like Parmesan or Gorgonzola. Pears are equally wonderful in baked goods. See our top five recipes.

The goodness doesn’t stop at taste. Pears are a fine source of vitamin C and, surprisingly, supply twice as much fiber as a piece of whole wheat bread. Leave the skin on your pear, it provides extra fiber and nutrients.

Step 1: Peel, quarter and core six pears. Quickly sprinkle them with two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. Set on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.

Step 2: Bring half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Let cool.

Step 3: When the pears have been in the freezer 20 minutes and are halfway frozen, place them in a blender with the water and sugar mixture. Puree and strain the pears, pressing with a rubber spatula to release the juices.

Step 4: Freeze the strained pear mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. (The sorbet is best if eaten within 24 hours.)

Fruits: figs, lemons, pineapples, prunes, oranges, raisins, raspberries
Sweets: brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, caramel, chocolate
Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
Spices: anise, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla
Savory: blue cheeses, Parmesan, aged gouda, prosciutto
Liquors: Armagnac, brandy, bourbon, grappa, red wine, dessert wine

Firm pears are best for cooking. While any variety can be cooked, Bosc is probably the easiest because they have a firmer, less delicate texture.

Pears substitute for apples in any recipe.
A splash of lemon juice will prevent sliced pears from browning.

  1. Arugula with Pears, Pecans, Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette
  2. Fall Salad with Asian Pears, Walnuts and Sherry Vinaigrette
  3. Celeriac, Rutabaga and Pear Puree
  4. Roast Pork Loin with Peppery Pear Butter
  5. Pear and Hazelnut Crisp

Sign up for FoodFit's FREE newsletters

Get healthy recipes, nutrition information and fitness tips!

privacy policy Submit


FoodFit is a part of HealthCentral
© 1999- The HealthCentral Network, Inc., Copyright All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use