22 August 2023

It is a great family outing to visit an orchard and pick your own fruit. If pears are what you are after, this is a good time. Pears left to ripen on the trees can become gritty tasting. Harvest when they are mature but prior to peak ripeness, give them time to chill and you will have the wonderful sweetness associated with pears. Refrigerate the fruit at between 31 and 50 degrees for a couple of days or up to several weeks. Then remove them from the cold area and allow them to finish ripening in 60 to 65 degrees for another couple of weeks. Too warm and the fruit will go bad.

Look for fruit with a darker green and some varieties have brown spots on the skin. These spots, or “breathing pores” are white or light colored but change to brown when the fruit is mature. The skin may feel waxy and should separate from the limb with an easy twist. If they have a wonderful pear aroma, you have done a good job.

Pear and Bleu Cheese Tarts


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 pears, finely diced
  • 2 cups bleu cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • 30 (2 inch) frozen, mini tart shells


  • Heat butter in a large skillet and cook onions until soft and brown. Allow to cool.
  • Combine caramelized onions with pears, cheese and walnuts.
  • Place tart shells on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spoon mixture into the still frozen tart shells.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 375 until the shells are lightly browned, about 15 or 20 minutes.

Pork Chops and Pears


  • 1 ½ quarts water
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 pork chops, ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 pears, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • In a large bowl, combine water, salt and sugar. Add pork chops and allow to soak for not more than one hour. Drain and discard liquid. Pat chops dry.
  • In a shallow dish, combine olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Add the pork chops and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Put the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Cool. At this point it should be the consistency of syrup.
  • Melt butter, adding the olive oil, in a large skillet and add onions and pears. Allow to brown quickly, keeping the wedges intact. Reduce heat to low and cook until they are tender. Stir in reduced vinegar mixture and salt. Note: this can be prepared in advance.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Keeping the pears and onions in a skillet, keep warm on the grill or on the stove.
  • Grill pork chops to doneness.
  • Serve with pear/onion mixture as a sauce.

Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound sage-flavored ground breakfast sausage
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • ½ cup carrots cut into matchstick size
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced


  • Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Brush ½ tablespoon oil on the flesh of each squash half. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place squash on the prepared pan, cut side down. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet. Add onions, cabbage, and carrots. Saute until onion is soft and translucent. Add pear and cook until pear is soft but still has structure.
  • Remove squash from oven. Invert so the flesh is up. Ladle on the sausage-pear mixture. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
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