|make your stomach happy||.||
Upside-down Apple French
slices of thick-cut French bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
o o o o o
One of the apple’s closest cousins is the pear. The earliest record of pears comes from Homer, who referred to them as "Gifts of the Gods" in the Odyssey. In North America, the first pear trees arrived with European settlers in the 1700's, shortly after the apple made its North American debut. There are over 3,000 known varieties of pears in the world; but only a few are grown for commercial production. The Northwest, in particular, is known for its fertile pear orchards, and late October is the height of the harvest season.
Pears are more fragile than apples, so when they’re in season, I try to make the most of them. Though pears are picked when they are ripe, they don’t soften on the tree, but rather, after they’ve been harvested. When your pears are slightly soft to the touch, they’re ready to use. To ripen rock hard pears, put them in a paper bag for a few days. For both of these recipes it is better if the pears are still slightly firm. It helps them hold their shape.
I love poached pears. My grandma uses jell-o for the poaching liquid, so when the dish is cooled you have soft sweet pears suspended in red gel. Fun to look at! But I have a more sophisticated recipe in mind.