8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (2024)

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Whether you're in the mood for savory or sweet, opt for one of these pear-fect dishes.


Betty Gold

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (1)

Betty Gold

Betty Gold is the former senior digital food editor at Real Simple.

Real Simple's Editorial Guidelines

Updated on August 26, 2023

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8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (2)

Pear recipes—whether they're for breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, or dessert—run the gamut from sweet to savory. The mild, sweet flavor of pears go well with everything from prosciutto and potatoes to camembert, cranberries, and cinnamon.

Read on to learn when to look for locally grown pears, tips for picking a pear that's ripe, and reasons you should eat pears. Next, look over our compilation of pear recipes that are perfect for fall—er...correction—any season.

Pear Season

Pears' peak season begins in late summer and continues through January, with 80 percent of the U.S. crop grown in the Pacific Northwest. Ten varieties are grown in overlapping seasons, making domestic pears available nearly year-round. With over 3000 types of pears grown worldwide, offseason imports are likely to come from New Zealand, Chile, and Australia.

Picking Pears

A pear's ideal color depends on its variety. The most popular ones in the U.S.—Green Anjou, Bartlett, and Bosc—come in varying shades of green, pinkish-red, and brown. They're best picked unripe and then ripen off the tree, similar to avocados, plums, and apricots.

You can't tell how ripe pears are just by looking, because they rarely change color as they mature. In the produce section, pears are almost always hard because they ripen from the inside out. Look for fruits without soft spots, bruises, or blemishes and then check for ripeness: Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb and, if the pear feels soft to the touch, it's ripe.

Health Benefits

Like most fruits, pears are super nutritious. A medium pear, which equates to one serving of fruit, has only 100 calories yet packs antioxidants and flavonoids. According to the U.S.Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), pears are also an excellent source of fiber, and provide daily recommended values of 8 percent vitamin C and 4 percent potassium; all three of which the DGA identifies as under-consumed by Americans.


From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, you're sure to find a recipe here that's just pear-fect.

Maple, Pear, and Pecan Steel-Cut Oats

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (3)

Here, we redefine the term "overnight oats" to mean tossing steel cut oats in the slow cooker and letting them cook overnight. The result is a deliciously spiced, creamy oatmeal generously topped with fresh-cut pears and toasted pecans.

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02of 11

Pressed-Crust Pear Tart

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (4)

For this recipe, pear halves are set atop a dough that's hand-pressed into a tart pan, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. After baking, the golden-brown tart is brushed with an apricot jam-and-lemon juice glaze for a sweet, shiny finish. As an extra indulgence, top with homemade whipped cream.

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03of 11

Balsamic Steak With Radicchio and Pears

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (5)

This gourmet, grown-up steak has slices of sweet pear, bitter radicchio, and crumbly bleu cheese. The dish works equally well as a Friday-night splurge or the star at your next dinner party.

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04of 11

Pears With Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (6)

These elegant party appetizers take just 10 minutes to prepare. Rich bleu cheese and salty prosciutto beautifully contrast the crisp sweet pear in what's going to quickly become a dinner party essential.

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05of 11

Slow Cooker Apple-and-Pear Sauce

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (7)

Tender pears and apples blend with aromatic cinnamon, warm vanilla, and maple for a delicate, smooth stick-to-your-ribs treat, You'll never buy ready-made apple sauce again!

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06of 11

Pears With Rosemary Sugar

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (8)

Whether it's a quick side or sweet fixing, this dish only takes 10 minutes to prepare. We love that you can whip up this recipe on a whim or easily double it. A crisp, totally satisfying delight awaits!

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07of 11

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (9)

Ginger-spiked pear slices enhance the flavor of this rich dessert's buttery gingersnap crust. Out of the oven, allow plenty of time for this cheesecake to cool room temperature, and then chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

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08of 11

Brown Butter and Vanilla Pear Pie

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (10)

Impress guests with this beautiful, super flaky, brown butter-and-vanilla pear pie. We promise it looks more fussy than it is to make. If you're feeling indulgent, pair it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

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09of 11

Puffed Pear Pancake

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (11)

Part upside-down cake, part pie, and part pancake, this dish is wholly delicious. Deceptively easy to make, just arrange pears on an oven-safe skillet, add pancake batter, and bake until puffed and golden. Serve with warm maple syrup for breakfast or brunch, or with ice cream for dessert.

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10of 11

Gingerbread Pancakes With Pears and Yogurt

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (12)

Once you tasted this gingerbread-and-pear combination, you'll wonder why you waited so long! The spiced-up pancake mix batter balances beautifully with sweet juicy pear slices and creamy vanilla yogurt for a decadent-yet-healthful start to the day.

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11of 11

Sheet Pan Pear Crisp

8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (13)

Granted, this recipe calls for apples, but you can swap them out for any hearty fruit like peaches, plums, or—you guessed it—pears. In addition to this dish's versatility, it's easy, feeds a crowd, can be made ahead, and you can take "sheet pan" to mean "easy cleanup".

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8 Sweet and Savory Pear Recipes That are Pear-fect for Fall (2024)


What is the best cooking method for pears? ›

Poached Pears

Keep the liquid at a very low boil and simmer the pears until cooked through, 10 to 25 minutes, depending on the pears. While they are poaching, every so often gently push down the pears to make sure they are submerged in poaching liquid. (The round of paper helps to keep the pears moist and wet.)

What are the best pears for baking tarts? ›

With so many varieties available on the market, it can be tough to choose which pears work best for baking. We recommend using Bartlett, Bosc, and Anjou pears. These varieties have the highest volume and are widely available in grocery stores year-round.

How do you eat butterscotch pears? ›

There are many ways to enjoy a butterscotch pear. You can slice it and add it to a salad for a sweet and juicy crunch, or poach it in a spiced syrup for a delicious dessert. You can also simply enjoy it as a healthy and refreshing snack.

How do you use a lot of pears? ›

20 Perfect Pear Recipes To Enjoy At Every Meal
  1. 01 of 20. Pear Salad. ...
  2. 02 of 20. Apple and Pear Crisp. ...
  3. 03 of 20. Spiced Pear Hand Pies. ...
  4. 04 of 20. Pear Preserves. ...
  5. 05 of 20. Pear Upside-Down Cake. ...
  6. 06 of 20. Bourbon and Hard Pear Cider co*cktail. ...
  7. 07 of 20. Roasted Pears. ...
  8. 08 of 20. Slow-Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter.
Nov 3, 2023

Do you have to peel pears to cook them? ›

Peel (or don't—your call), and then halve firm but just-ripe pears. I repeat the firm part because if you have ever tried to peel or core an over-ripe pear, you know it's a messy affair. With very-ripe fruit, maybe skip the peeling.

What Flavours compliment pears? ›

Pear: Pairs well with almond, apple, caramel, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus, clove, ginger, hazelnut, nutmeg, pecan, raspberry, rosemary, vanilla, and walnut.

Which pear is the sweetest? ›

Comice pears were originally cultivated in France. They're known as the sweetest pear variety, and are often the variety shipped in gift boxes. Because of this, they're sometimes given the nickname “the Christmas pear.” Comice pears have light green skin with a blush of pinkish red.

Are Bosc or Bartlett pears better for baking? ›

You'll want to choose pears that hold together well when making poached, baked, or grilled pears. Look to the crispest raw pears to find those that can withstand heat. The popular Bosc pear is the best option.

What are buttery pears? ›

A relative of the D'Anjou, Fresh Butter pears have a very creamy texture with a sweet, succulent flavor containing a hint of lemon. This fruit's green skin will take on a slight rusty brown hue as it begins to ripen.

Should you eat pears hard or soft? ›

What you're looking for is a slight give when applying pressure to the pear's neck. If it feels firm and hard, it's best to wait a few more days. If it feels very soft or your finger easily breaks the skin, bad news — your pear is overripe and possibly close to going bad. A slight softness means you're good to go.

Should you eat pear cores? ›

Apricot kernels and the seeds of apples and pears contain a naturally occurring toxin (amygdalin). When eaten, this toxin can react with stomach enzymes and release a poison (cyanide) in the gut. This can cause stomach ache, illness, and can be fatal, especially for children.

Which cooking method is recommended for most fruit? ›

Fruit can be cooked using moist heat or dry heat methods. To make a sauce, compote or to poach would require moist heat. Liquid and seasoning is often added to soften and infuse a new flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, chilies and saffron can be used to add a deep and complex flavor to fruit.

Does boiling pears soften them? ›

For some fruits, poaching is a way to soften them up for dishes where they would otherwise add little or no textural value. Pears are often poached so that they become soft enough to be pureed into a sauce or blended into a soup.

Do you boil or steam pears? ›

Cover and steam for about 10-12 minutes or until the pears are tender. If you opt for boiling, place the pears in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the pears are soft and easily mashed with a fork.

How do you soften pears for cooking? ›

To ripen pears in 4-7 days, store them at room temperature on your counter. If you want to ripen them even faster, put them into a paper bag, fold the top of the bag to close it, and wait 2-4 days for the pears to ripen. Adding ripe bananas or apples to the paper bag will help to ripen the pears in 1-3 days.


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