A Pear Dessert to Smile About July 11, 2009

Filed under: Desserts — sotsil @ 6:23 pm
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It’s called Bartlett Pear and Almond Croustade.  The first time I made this pear dessert, it left an impression on me, and I knew after the first few bites that I would make it again…and again.  First off, this recipe isn’t mine.  It belongs to :  If you’ll look at the picture on the web site, it resembles mine (see slide show).  That means, another culinary effort on my part didn’t end in disaster. 

I took 6 shots of some steps in the recipe although it isn’t a difficult one to follow.  When time permits,  I like using slides.  They bring out the colors.  They also bring out imaginary smells from the kitchen.  It’s as if you could almost smell the freshly-baked aroma of fresh fruit enveloped in a pastry that’s artistically folded – well – sort of.

For those who like to learn by taking the visual approach (as opposed to text), slide shows can make up for the lack of an actual video show like the cooking videos you watch on YouTube.

I followed the original recipe from (I think it stands for California Pears), except for two things:   (a)  instead of Bartlett pears, I used Anjou pears;  (b) instead of 25 minutes, I baked it for 35-40 minutes. I wanted the pie crust to be very brown instead of a pale yellow.  The pie crust I used was Pillsbury pie crust.

Some trivia about Anjou pears:

  • they do have that oval shape, although they’re not a perfect oval.  They tend to look roundish.
  • they come in two colors – red and green – which is why some people call them either “red Anjous” or “green Anjous”.
  • when you use them for cooking, select those that are only beginning to become ripe; that is, they feel firm to the touch.  For the recipe above, I made the mistake of choosing ripe ones.  How do I test a pear for ripeness?  I call it the nail test.  I dig a nail – only very slightly – into the skin – and if the pear bruises easily, then it’s too ripe to cook with.
  • Anjou pears were first discovered in France’s Loire’s Valley.
  • They’re available from October to June.  I bought my pears in July and already the ones in the supermarket bins are beginning to look like they’ve seen better days.
  • If you like eating pears au naturel, they go great with cheese – Gruyère, Brie, Cheddar or Swiss!