Recipes can use an abundance of pears

Wednesday, October 31, 2001



Booo! Happy Halloween to you and all of the little ghosts and goblins in your home. As with every holiday, today is an exciting time for the children. On a normal morning, Lexie has trouble getting out of bed. But on holidays, she is bright-eyed and ready to go. I guess she wants to get a jump on the all-day sugar high that Halloween brings. Whatever the reason, it sure is fun, and I love every minute of it.

To help use the seeds from your jack-o'-lantern, try this next recipe to spice up ordinary roasted pumpkin seeds for a great tasting and healthy snack.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons margarine, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  • Last week there was a request for pear recipes to help use up the pear abundance this year. Not only do we have an abundance of pears, but we also received an abundance of recipes, which is wonderful. So let's get right to those recipes. I hope you enjoy using them.

    Louise Howes of Cape Girardeau shares her recipe for Pear Honey that she clipped from the Southeast Missourian newspaper in 1968. The color and consistency of the finished product is what gives this delightful treat its honey name.

    Pear Honey

    1/2 bushel pears, peeled

    1 or 2 large cans crushed pineapple

    1 lemon, sliced thin or chopped

    Grind the pears. Measure into a large kettle pears, pineapple and lemon. Add 1 cup sugar for each heaping cup of pear, pineapple and lemon mixture. Cook until thick; stir frequently. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

    Louise also has a similar recipe that she says is delicious and beautiful.

    Pear Honey

    8 cups chopped pears

    5 cups sugar

    1/4 cup lemon juice

    Add lemon juice to chopped pears in a large, heavy cooking kettle. Turn on heat and gradually add sugar. Bring to a full boil for 20 minutes. Cook slowly for 10 more minutes or to a jelly test. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Seal. Makes 4 pints.

  • Geneva Elfrink of Leopold, Mo., sent in several recipes including two more pear honey recipes. They are both quite similar to the ones we have already features, so will share a couple of the others she submitted.

    Sunburst Pear Pie

    1 double crust pie shell

    5 medium pears, pared, quartered, cored and sliced

    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

    3 tablespoons granulated sugar

    1/4 cup flour

    1 teaspoon freshly grated orange rind

    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

    Prepare pie shell. Combine pears, sugars, flour, orange rind and nutmeg; toss lightly to mix well. Spoon into the pie shell. Add top crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or just until the juice bubbles up and the pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour before serving. Serve warm with orange butter sauce or plain.

    Orange Butter Sauce

    Combine 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 3/4 cups orange juice and cook, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and boils 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 4 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

    Pear Upside Down Cake

    3 firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored and halved

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/2 stick butter

    1/4 cup pecans

    1 recipe of your favorite gingerbread

    Melt butter in an 8-by-8-inch square pan. When melted, swirl pan to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter. Place the pear halves on top of the brown sugar, then layer on the pecans. Gently pour the gingerbread batter over the pecans and bake according to your recipe's instructions. When the gingerbread is done, remove from oven and let sit about five minutes, then invert it onto a plate or tray. Serve warm topped with whipped topping or lemon sauce.

  • A familiar contributor to Recipe Swap known as "the soup queen" once again proves she has a soup for every occasion. Yes, pear soup, and it sounds delicious. She also shares a salad recipe as well as a dumpling recipe. I think you will enjoy them all.

    Pear and Noodle Soup

    1 1/2 to 2 cups uncooked noodles

    5 cups milk

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    3 large firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered

    4 tablespoons sugar

    Over low heat, cook noodles in milk with salt and nutmeg. Stir occasionally. Put pears in water to cover. Cook until just done but not soft. Add sugar toward the end of cooking time. Drain pears. Add to cooked noodles and milk. Stir gently to mix. If desired, top with finely chopped celery and parsley. Serves about 8 to 10 servings.

    Fresh Pear Salad with Ginger Cheese

    6 fresh ripe pears, unpeeled

    Fresh lemon juice

    Head of lettuce

    2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese

    1 tablespoon milk

    2 tablespoons finely chopped candied or preserved ginger

    French dressing or mayonnaise

    Wash pears, cut in half; remove cores. Brush with lemon juice. Arrange lettuce on six salad plates. Top each with 2 pear halves, cavity side up. Soften cream cheese and blend with milk and ginger. Spoon into cavity of each pear. Serve with French dressing or mayonnaise. Serves six.

    Pear and Apple Dumplings

    1 box commercial pastry mix

    2 large firm ripe pears

    2 large tart apples

    3/4 cup sugar

    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    6 teaspoons margarine

    Make pastry according to directions on box. Peel, core and slice the fruit. Mix with next 4 ingredients. Divide unbaked pastry into thirds. Roll each third 1/4-inch thick into a 12x6-inch rectangle. Cut into 2 6-inch squares. Place 1/2 cup fruit mixture in center of each and dot with 1 teaspoon margarine. Moisten edges of pastry and bring points over fruit and press together. Place in a 9x13-inch buttered baking dish. Brush with milk. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm. Serves six.

  • Jodi Thompson is another familiar name to you, and she too has done her homework. She has some interesting recipes as well as some old-time favorites to help use up the pear crop.

    Almond Pear Coffee Cake

    1/2 cup unsifted flour

    1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

    1/4 cup packed brown sugar

    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1/3 cup mayonnaise

    1/4 teaspoon almond extract

    1 (17 ounce) package poundcake mix

    1/3 cup milk

    2 large eggs

    2 pounds pears; cored, peeled and thinly sliced

    Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In medium bowl, stir together first four ingredients. Stir in mayonnaise and extract until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat cake mix, milk and eggs just until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Spread in prepared pan. Arrange pears in one layer on top of batter; sprinkle with mayonnaise mixture. Bake in a 325-degree oven 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan. Serve warm.

    I hope each of you has a happy and safe Halloween night and a wonderful week ahead.

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