Kieffer Pears for Holiday Dessert

Working at a bakery means one thing during the holidays: the work days are long and busy. It's a good thing that the predominately busy time at work is also the least busy time in the garden. Even though the garden is hibernating until spring (82 days to go!), I still manage to bring back a bit of the garden with my (refrigerated) Kieffer pears.

It took a long time to figure out what to actually make with these pears (and even longer to figure out when they would be ripe, as I wrote about in previous posts this year). But now that I have them waiting in the fridge, the possibilities are endless. When I know I'll want to use them, I take them out of the fridge and leave them on the counter for a few days to ripen. (I picked them before the first frost this past fall.) I know they are ready to be used because they become a little less firm when handled.

First off, they are delicious when added to the scone recipe I use. I peeled, sliced and tossed mine in cinnamon sugar, then added them to scone base. The pear isn't overpowering and compliments the creaminess of the scone nicely.

The other recipe I've experimented with can be found here at Serious Eats. The Pear Cranberry Crisp tastes so good with Kieffer pears! The second time I made this, I altered the recipe slightly by adding a pint of fresh raspberries to the mix. The dried cranberries already add a little tartness to the crisp but the raspberries give it a little more zing.

Kieffer pears, peeled and sliced.

Addition of the dried cranberries.

Addition of a pint of fresh raspberries.

Finished Pear Cranberry (and Raspberry) Crisp.
I know the pears would probably can well or make a nice pear sauce, but after my plum jam (ahem, sauce) experiment this summer, I'm hesitant to break out the canning essentials again. The only recipe that I wasn't too happy with so far was a clafoutis recipe that can be found here. I didn't have the almond flour or the agave nectar that the recipe called for, so even though I tried substitutions, it was just a little too bland in the end.

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