Disclosure: The lovely Taylor's Gold Pear people sent a group of bloggers, of whom I am one, a case of Taylor's Gold pears each (thank you--they were delicious). As well, I am being paid for my recipe development. Stay tuned at the bottom of the post for a great #loveNZfruit giveaway as well!
Taylor's Gold Pears | #LoveNZFruit
I think that most of us in the United States consider pears and apples to be fall and winter fruits. We pair them with warm spices: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. We roast them; we bake them into pies to be enjoyed around a roaring fire or our Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert tables. We core them and pack them with streusel, nestling them up against each other like eggs in a carton, and bake them until their skins burnish, the fruit softens and the spices permeate our kitchens. No, there is nothing like a pear or apple dessert during the cold months.
Here's the thing, though. During our summers, autumn pears are in season in New Zealand. Taylor's Gold Pears are juicy, mellow and taste of mild honey. Their squat little cinnamon-colored bodies are the perfect size to eat chilled and out of hand. A perfect pear, refreshing in the summer and available to us from mid-April through July. Thanks, round earth. Thanks New Zealand for sharing your fruit with us. Because even though berries and peaches abound here, sometimes it's nice to enjoy the unexpected: pears in the summer.
I am thrilled to be included in the #loveNZfruit group of intrepid bloggers. When I come up with recipes, I always like to try to think outside the box a bit, and finding a wonderful and refreshing spring/summery recipe for pears was our challenge this month. (Stay tuned in June and July when we bring you wonderful recipes showcasing two different varieties of New Zealand apples)!
Before I share my summery pear deliciousness with you, I want to be sure to tell you about the twitter party tomorrow night! All of us #loveNZfruit bloggers will be tweeting out our recipes as well as fun pear information. Plus: prizes! Yes, you could win pear swag and even a gift card. So please join us tomorrow, 5/29 at 8pm EDT, on twitter and follow @TaylorsGoldPear and the #loveNZfruit hashtag. You'll have fun and you could win some cool stuff!
And now, on to my recipe. I wanted to choose not only summery flavors to complement the sweet pears but also a summery presentation. Presentation-wise, I went with sorbetto. Or sorbet. Call it what you will, but it is creamy, juicy, smooth and refreshing on a hot day. Flavor-wise, I used lemon, mint, ginger and something a bit unexpected: the sweet-tart tang of white balsamic vinegar. Friends, I present to you Pickled Pear Sorbetto.
As a bonus, I also made some chicken salad featuring diced Taylor's Gold Pears. I'm not providing the recipe here, but if you ever wondered if pears would be good in chicken salad, the answer is a most definite yes. See?
Enjoy, and don't forget to read on for information about this month's Taylor's Gold Pear giveaway as well as the grand prize giveaway at the end of the entire promotion. Yay!
You can also use this as a base for a refreshing "shrub slushy." Just put a couple of scoops in a glass and top off with club soda or ginger ale. (PS a shrub is a fruity, vinegary, sweet, refreshing drink).
- 6 very ripe and juicy Taylor's Gold Pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 3.5 oz sugar (by weight, about ½ cup)
- 4-6 oz white balsamic vinegar (use less for a less sharp bite, but I went with 6)
- 4-6 oz water (you're looking for 10 oz total liquid, so go with 6 oz if you use 4 oz of vinegar or 4 oz if you use 6oz vinegar. Or 5 and 5. You get the idea)
- ⅔ oz (19 grams) fresh ginger, grated on a fine microplane
- 20 mint leaves in a tea ball or tied up in cheesecloth
- zest of one medium lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon unflavored, granulated gelatin
- Put the pears, sugar, vinegar, water, ginger, mint leaves in their tea ball or cheesecloth, and lemon zest into a medium sized sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, mashing the pears as they soften in the liquid.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low or low, and simmer until the pears have completely broken down, about 10-15 minutes, removing the mint leaves after five.
- Transfer the pears and all their liquid to a blender jar. If you forgot to retrieve your mint leaves, do that now.
- Carefully puree until completely smooth.
- Press through a fine mesh strainer into a metal bowl set in an ice bath.
- Chill to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate overnight. If you want to churn the same day, make sure to chill the mixture to 39-40F before proceeding.
- Remove ¼ cup of the chilled puree to a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the teaspoon of gelatin over the puree.
- Stir and let sit for 5 minutes or so for the gelatin to hydrate.
- Warm the gelatin mixture over medium heat (or in the microwave in short 10 second bursts) until the mixture is warm and no longer feels grainy.
- Stream the gelatin mixture into the rest of the base while whisking constantly to help prevent lumps.
- If necessary, chill in the ice bath or refrigerate for about 30 minutes to make sure the mixture is well chilled.
- Turn your ice cream maker on and strain the pear mixture into the canister, churning according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Pack into a container. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the sorbetto and freeze for several hours until firm enough to scoop.
- The sorbetto is best eaten in the first day or two, but the gelatin ensures that it will remain relatively soft and not get all icy for 3-4 days more.
- Enjoy in small portions as a palate cleanser or pour sparkling water or ginger ale over it to make a "shrub slushy."
And there you have it. To recap, Taylor's Gold Pears are ripe and ready for you to enjoy this spring and summer, so do pick some up. Also, don't forget the twitter party tomorrow evening, and please be sure to enter the giveaway.
LoveNZFruit Recipe Round-Up
And please feast your eyes on everyone's pear offerings this month. Ten great recipes featuring what we've always considered a fall fruit (until now, that is!) in all its summery splendor!
Grilled Pears Filled with Caramel and Chocolate by Cook the Story
Cranberry Pear Scones with Orange Glaze from It's Yummi!
Pickled Pear Sorbetto by me!
Spicy Grilled Pear Ketchup by Cooking with Books
Mini Pear and Blackberry Pies by Big Bear's Wife
Chocolate Dipped Pear Popsicles by Around My Family Table
Pear Caramelized Onion and Brie Bites by Real Housemoms
White Chicken Naan Pizza with Sauteed Pears & Gorgonzola by Climbing Grier Mountain
Muddled Pear Moscow Mule by Doughmesstic
Mini Pear and Blackberry Pies by Big Bear's Wife
Pear Gorgonzola Easy Ravioli by Nutmeg Nanny
This month's prize is a $150 Visa Gift Card and a box of Taylor's Gold Pears. Huzzah!
And guess what? Every entry you make here and over the next two months (apples and apples) gets you entries into the grand prize drawing for a Vitamix blender and a $100 gift card. Sweet!
Good luck in the giveaway/s, friends. I'll see you for the twitter party on Thursday. Just look for the hashtag #loveNZfruit!