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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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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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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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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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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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 foods go well with pears? ›

Pears Make the Perfect Partner for Wholesome Snacking

even replace meals, a pear's juicy, subtle flavor pairs well with protein-filled nut butters or almonds and walnuts. And its gentle acidity is a bright match for richer companions, like cheese and cured meats.

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.

Should pears be peeled before cooking? ›

Pears can be left unpeeled for eating fresh, but be sure to peel them before cooking. Although the peel is edible, some fruits may have tough skins with a slightly bitter flavor that is accentuated when cooked. Prevent premature browning by dipping cut pears in water mixed with a little lemon juice or vinegar.

Do you have to peel pears before cooking? ›

Store at room temperature, or inside a paper bag if pears are hard or firm and needing to ripen. Prepare by washing with cold water before eating. No need to peel, just slice pears in half and take out the core with a knife or melon baller.

What meat pairs with pears? ›

According to this principle, cured meats such as mortadella, salami, and cooked ham go well with apples, peaches, exotic fruits, citrus fruits, pineapple, pears, and kiwi. While cured meats such as prosciutto, bresaola, and speck can be paired with figs, apples, apricots, watermelon, melon, strawberries, and berries.

What enhances the flavor of pears? ›

In classic French cuisine, pears are often poached with vanilla beans in wine, and for good reason. The wine's fruit-forward acidity perks up the mellow pears, while fragrant vanilla beans amplify their floral aroma and the gentle cooking method keeps their delicate texture intact.

What flavors mix well with pear? ›

Pear: Pairs well with almond, apple, caramel, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus, clove, ginger, hazelnut, nutmeg, pecan, raspberry, rosemary, vanilla, and walnut. It mixes best with brandy, port, crème de cassis, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, whiskey, and dry red white, and sparkling wines.

What kind of 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.

Can dogs eat pears? ›

Yes, dogs can eat pears. Pears are a great snack because they're high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. If you're sharing pears with your dog, just be sure to cut the pear flesh into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.

What pear has the most flavor? ›

Red Bartlett

With a bright, fresh sweetness and delicate floral hints, this pear is all about flavor.

Can you cook eating pears? ›

Ripe, eating pears need very little cooking – simply poach in a light syrup or fry them in butter.

What is the sweetest pear to eat raw? ›

Comice Pear: Not as grainy as classic pears, this variety has a great clean and bright pear flavor that's surprisingly sweet. It's soft and juicy, and arguably the best choice to eat raw.

What is a butterscotch pear? ›

Melissa's Butterscotch™ Pears are crunchy, juicy and sweet. Extreme care is taken while growing these pears, the outcome is a clean, blemish-free fruit. Directly imported from the fields of South Korea, Melissa's Butterscotch™ Pears are the most refreshing pears you'll ever bite into.

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? ›

If you're not in a rush, you can simply leave a pear sitting out on the counter at room temperature and it will slowly ripen, usually within four to seven days, according to Edwards. Speed up the process. If you'd like to ripen your pears faster, you can put them in a paper bag with ripe apples and/or bananas.

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