California Recipes: Delicate Pear Pie
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!
American Pear Festivals
- Kelseyville Pear Festival in Lake County California
The Kelseyville Pear Festival is an annual event on September 24, 2011, celebrating Kelseyville and Lake County's agricultural heritage.
- Pear Blossom Parade and Festival; Medford, Oregon
A Capital Pear Fair or Two!
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
- 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
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
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!
- 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
- 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 .
Additional Pear Recipes
- Best Recipes In America: Pear Pie and Salad
A pear can be the hot of a salad or even a pie. Many varieties of pear are milder than an apple flavor, sweet, and are made more enticing by apple pie spices. Try an easy pear pie or salad soon.
© 2011 Patty Inglish MS