In The Kitchen

Fruit from neighbor’s tree yields Blushing Pears

Blushing pears get their color from Jell-O and are a pretty and tasty addition to any dinner table.

Blushing pears get their color from Jell-O and are a pretty and tasty addition to any dinner table.

A walk around the block was a “fruitful” jaunt recently when I noticed that neighbors Barney and Carol Lewis had an abundance of pears on their trees this year. Carol said her father, Bill Anthony, planted the pear and apple trees about 20 years ago and that this year’s crop was the most they had ever seen. Her dad, who recently passed away, would have been so proud of the trees, Carol said.

Carol and Barney were kind enough to let me pick a few pears for one of our favorite recipes, Blushing Pears. The pears are poached and get their color from either Jell-O or cranberry juice.

Pears should be picked before they are fully ripe, while still just a little green but still snap off easily when picked. If left to ripen on the tree, the sugars turn to starch and have a somewhat gritty texture.

To get pears to ripen at home, place them in a paper bag and leave them at room temperature for a couple of days.

The pears from the Lewis’ tree were perfect, so we ate some fresh and poached some using this recipe. For a touch of elegance, drizzle a chocolate or raspberry sauce over the top before serving.

Blushing Pears

5 cups water

3 packages (3 oz. size) raspberry or cherry Jell-O

6 pears, peeled

Whipped topping

Put water in a Dutch over or a pot large enough to hold the pears. Bring water to a boil and add Jell-O. Reduce heat and let gelatin dissolve completely. Add pears and simmer, lightly covered, for about 30 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from pan, cool and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

If you don’t want the blushing color, boil the pears in 3 cups of pineapple juice mixed with 1 cup of water. If Jell-O isn’t to your liking, substitute 3 cups of cranberry juice and 1 cup of water for the water and Jell-O and follow the recipe above.

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