California Recipes: Delicate Pear Pie

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Multimillion-dollar research is improving pear production and flavors without resorting to GMO. The pear is becoming the new star of the farmers market and the home kitchen!

How to Study a Pear

The commercial apple and pear growers of Washington State in 2011 provided Washington State University (WSU) with a sum of $27,000,000 over the following 8 years to 2019 for research about pear and apple tree diseases and fruit production.This is an important grant made by commercial interests. The grant funds the search for better, tastier pears that have high nutritional value as well as high yield per tree.

However, the gift is based on a dedicated Fruit Tax, so the cost is passed on to consumers. But it's just $1.00 per ton and the voters elected to tax themselves to help WSU to produce better and more fruit, along with sustainable packaging.

The research positions and orchard research could increase production and lower disease risk to enhance Washington apples and pears. In Ohio, a line of four apple trees on our block near the street, shared by neighbors, did not even produce blossoms this year in extended heat wave and lack of rain. It was quite a loss and apples at the grocery are cost $1.00 per pound more than they did a year ago in 2010. If the new researchers in Washington can develop a cure for this, we'd appreciate it.

"Pear Paradise" in Washington's Wenatchee River Valley

Pear Festivals On the West Coast

With four major pear growing regions, Washington State produces a lot of pears and donates considerable funding to state fruit research. However, the state has no pear festivals of its own. At least one is held in Oregon to the south, but California holds at least three pear festivals.

For fun pear events, we must travel to California's State Capital Area, Sacramento. In this region, two festivals of the pear are celebrated - one in the summer in Courtland to the south and one in the autumn in Kelseyville to the west (see the map below).

Both festivals are much like state or county fairs that center around the local varieties of pears grown. They feature Pear Queens, parades, races, car shows, cooking contests, family activities, music, fine arts, crafts, duck calling, canning demonstrations, sampling of a wide variety of pears and pear products, and many other offerings. They are awesome!

A Capital Pear Fair or Two!

show route and directions
A markerCourtland CA -
Courtland, CA 95615, USA
[get directions]

B markerSacramento CA -
Sacramento, CA, USA
[get directions]

C markerKelseyville CA -
Kelseyville, CA 95451, USA
[get directions]

Pears At Farmers Markets In Sacramento County

Double M Farms and McDowell Hunting Preserve

  • 13161 Grand Island Rd, Walnut Grove CA 95690. Phone: 916-257-9613

U-pick

  • 2380 Twitchell Island Road, Rio Vista CA 94571. Phone: 916-777-4439.
  • Call for schedule of fruits available: apricots, pears, peaches, plums, and more.

A Pumpkin In a Pear Tree

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Weird Fruit Liaisons - Pumpkin and Pears

A pear tree in Iowa near Des Moines seemed to give birth to a pumpkin during the autumn of 2011. How did this event occur?

A pumpkin vine climbed up the pear tree and out along a branch to produce a blossom. The blossom became a pumpkin hanging among the pears on Labor Day. The odd sighting is still a great conversation starter today.

Fun With Fall Produce

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Pear Pie with Asiago Cheese

5 stars from 1 rating of Pear Pie with Asiago Cheese

My Delicate Pear Pie with Asiago Cheese Topping

I like a delicate flavor in a pear pie and don't add apples, because of their apply sweetness or tartness. Two or three types of apples in a single pie can be very good tasting, though - one sweet and one tart is a favorite.

This recipe is one of thinly sliced fresh pears , a ginger-cinnamon seasoning, and a delicate shredded or grated Asiago cheese on the top lattice crust . Some nuts can be added to enhance the nutty flavor of the cheese - slivered almonds or a few English walnuts (Black walnuts may or may not be too strong for your taste in this pie). Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds of fresh Pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup white sugar. Try light brown sugar for a deeper flavor.
  • 1/2 tsp each of ginger and cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Butter pats - 3 or 5, to taste,
  • Your favorite 2-crust pie recipe, divided in half.
  • Cooking spray.

INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING

  • Asiago Cheese - ½ Cup of this cheese, shredded or grated.
  • ½ Cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP butter, or butter substitute, melted
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 425 F (415 F for a glass pie plate)
  • Roll half of the pie dough for a bottom crust and place it into a cooking-sprayed pie pan or pie plate. Prick the bottom crust several places with a fork, but without going all the way to the pan bottom.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar, spices, salt, and cornstarch, and mix well.
  • Arrange pear slices in layers of circles around the pie bottom crust.
  • Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the pears and place 3 to 5 butter pats around the surface of the fruit.
  • Roll dough for the top crust, but cut into 1-inch-wide strips and weave an open lattice work on top of the pie, crimping crust adges all around the circular edge.
  • In another small bowl, tumble all of the topping ingredients together with a fork until crumbly. The sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the pie. Garnish with nuts, if desired.
  • Bake about 45 minutes, or until done. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream or creme freshe .

© 2011 Patty Inglish

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Comments 11 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I love pears. I'm not a pie maker, though. I'll have to get Mom to try out this recipe. Bizarre about the pumpkin.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks Flora - I made myself hungry for pears and am aboutto go get some. That pumpkin happening could turn into a big urban legend - pumpkins grated onto fruit trees by a mad gardener...


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I have never used cheese with pie before. I love pears and am sure will also love this recipe. Wish I could have made it to on of those pear festivals.


AUPADHYAY profile image

AUPADHYAY 5 years ago from INDIA, UTTAR PRADESH STATE, KANPUR CITY

Mouth watering hub. I vote it up.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I have never used cheese with pie either. I know that it's a popular pairing for apple pie, but I have never seen it included in the recipe itself.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Pears are a great substitute for apples in pies. Cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of lemon juice added to the brown sugar brings a flavor that is heavenly.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

OMG what a fabulous sounding recipe, I love the idea of pears and cheese!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I just recalled that pears and cheese are a French dessert I think. Or I dreamed it. We will take it to the Inn, regardless, POP!

Thanks for all the comments - you can still by jewelry pins of a slice of apple pie and cheese at kitsch stores and flea markets sometimes!


Robin profile image

Robin 4 years ago from San Francisco

Paul is the pie maker in our family, but he's never made pear pie! We will have to add this to our pie list. We love having cheese after dinner and paired with pear pie, sounds devine!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

I hope your family likes this pie, Robin. You might have a few tweaks of your own!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

I grew up in Washington State, which is much better known for its apples than pears. No wonder there are no pear festivals! Lots of great information in this hub, and I will have to try the pear pie recipe this weekend. Asiago cheese... yum!

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