My friend Teresa generously gave me a bag of home grown pears the other day. They looked delicious. "Eat them right away" she said, "you want to eat them while they are still firm."
Pears are a great fruit. They are very high in fiber, a good source of vitamin C, they also provide dietary copper. Copper is an antioxidant that is required by the body for good health and it helps the body to process iron. Fairly low in calories, a medium sized pear has around 70 calories making them a great snack choice.
I had initially thought that I would can them because firm pears hold up the best to the heat of canning. Or perhaps pear butter. But in the end I wound up making a torte for dessert. It was delicious with a nice balance of flavor and sweetness; the pears turned out just right, firm and not too mushy. But the torte was too dense and a little dry. It definitely could have used a sauce of some kind to help out. My husband's response was "it needs some ice cream."
I may try to make this again with regular pears; if I do I would make a few changes. Possibly adding some applesauce to moisten it up a bit, perhaps soaking the flour in a small measure of apple juice to help soften the fiber, maybe adding a little more fat. I'm not sure but I do know that, as I said before, it's not easy to always get it just the way you want it on the first go. But keep playing with it and enjoy the process and the results.
Whole Wheat Pear Torte
1/4 C. milk
1/2 t. salt
1 C. evaporated cane juice crystals
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 deg F
Peel, core, and slice pears
Mix together eggs, milk, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and evaporated cane juice crystals
Add flour and mix well
gently mix in pears
Grease a 9" cake pan
Coat the pan with sucanat
Pour torte mixture into pan
Bake 30-35 minutes or until done