When faced with too many pears on the kitchen counter, do pickles come to mind? There’s nothing wrong with baking a warm pear pie or French-style tart, but we’re here to tell you that pears can enliven salads and a multitude of savory dishes as well–especially when combined with funky cheeses and toasted nuts. Puréed, pears even make for heady fall cocktails and holiday punches.
Just one tip: To determine when those pears are ripe enough to eat, press near the stem to test for softness. If they’re not quite there yet, toss them into a paper bag with a banana (which releases more ethylene gas than pears alone), and you’ll have juicy pears in no time. Put them to good use in these 12 pearfect recipes, and your autumn will be all the more sweeter.
This rustic Gallic tart bakes upside down in a skillet, creating a crackling glazed crust. Swapping in sweet Comice pears for the more traditional apples is a welcome departure that will leave guests saying ooh la la—especially if you top the warm slices with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Get the recipe >
For a simple weeknight dessert, bake Anjou pears with fresh sprigs of thyme and bay leaves, then drizzle on some lavender honey and top things off with a dollop of double cream (or crème fraîche) if you’re feeling fancy. Get the recipe >
Layer this buttery pie with ripe Bartlett pears, and a mixture of sugar, flour, and cream to soak up their juices. Get the recipe >
In Umbria, locals serve this tart, peppery salad after big bowls of pasta. They slice Abate Fetel pears into the greens and shower them with grated Pecorino Romano. Get the recipe >
This fruity play on cacio e pepe (pasta tossed with cheese and pepper) from Lidia Bastianich combines sharp pecorino and creamy mascarpone with tender Bartlett pears for a subtly sweet ravioli filling. Get the recipe >
Our favorite low-effort fruit dessert might be these baked pears stuffed with rum-soaked currants and almonds. Dusted with cinnamon sugar, they caramelize in the oven and are heavenly served warm. Get the recipe >
Freshly grated ginger and nutmeg give the filling of this Bartlett pear pie a warming kick of spice that’s tamed by a buttery streusel. Get the recipe >
Koreans tuck into these poached Asian pear “bowls” stuffed with nuts and dates at breakfast, but we’ll eat them any time. Get the recipe >
Tart sumac-flavored onions combine with Asian pears in this sweet-and-salty twist on the cool Israeli salad. Get the recipe >
This sip from Manhattan’s Bar Goto blends French bubbles and pear brandy with Swiss bitters, all shaken together and poured into a chilled coupe. A lemon twist adds a whisper of citrus. Get the recipe >
This culture mashup in a cocktail glass fuses Italian Spumanti, Portuguese white port, French crème de poire and absinthe. Bring your passport. Get the recipe >