Pears, Pears, Everywhere!

So many pears.  And two great ways to enjoy them!

Despite the drought, but perhaps because of the mild winter, I have a bumper crop of Seckel pears.

Seckel pears are smaller and sweeter than Anjous or Bartletts, and taste better grilled or sauteed or baked than eaten fresh.

You pick them when they will easily come off the tree, but then you need to let them ripen in a cool place for a week or so.

I now have bags and bags and bags of pears. Everywhere I go, pears are there.

They sneak in through the mail slot.

And they hang out in my living room.

But, not for long!

I've got the grill fired up.  And a batch of cinnamon roll dough on the rise.

So, we're going to have. . . .

Plank-Roasted Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Plank-roasting over high heat really gives this mild fruit a richer flavor.

Adapted from The Gardener and the Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig. 
Serves 8

4 large, ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears or 8 Seckel pears
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons wildflower or other amber honey
1  cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Maytag or Point Reyes
8 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup vinaigrette of your choice

Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Cut the pears in half lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Using a sturdy teaspoon or a melon baller, remove the core from each half. In a bowl, mix the melted butter and honey. Brush the honey mixture over the cut surface of the pears. Sprinkle the pears with the crumbled blue cheese. Grill the pears, cut side down, for 2 to 3 minutes or until they have good grill marks. Toss the greens with the vinaigrette, portion onto plates, and top with a pear half. 

And now for the cinnamon rolls and my new book!

To read more about I Love Cinnamon Rolls, click here

Cinnamon-Spiced Pear Rolls with Warm Pear Caramel
For a cold weather brunch—or breakfast for dinner—these rolls get a final drizzle of warm pear caramel. You can find bottled pear nectar in the health food section of better grocery stores.
1 recipe Traditional Cinnamon Roll Dough (below)
Cinnamon Pear Filling:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large, ripe pear, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
Warm Pear Caramel
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups pear nectar or apple cider
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt or to taste
1. For the pan sauce, butter a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. For the filling, combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Work in the butter with a fork or your fingers until the mixture forms crumbs. Set aside.

2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 10 by 12-inch rectangle. Dot with the spice mixture and the pears. Pat the filling into the dough. Roll up the dough and form into a tight 12-inch cylinder. Cut the dough into 12 slices and place in the prepared pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

3. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the rolls have risen and browned.
4. For the Warm Pear Caramel, whisk the brown sugar and cornstarch together in a large saucepan. Press out any lumps with your fingers. Stir in the pear nectar and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan and the sauce thickens, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, butter, and salt until the butter melts. Serve drizzled over the rolls.

Traditional Cinnamon Roll Dough
This classic dough makes a cinnamon roll with a sweet flavor and a feathery crumb. Instead of using a stand mixer, you can also make this dough by hand or in a 2-pound capacity or larger bread machine (see variation below).
Makes 6 jumbo, 12 large, 16 to 20 medium, or 48 mini cinnamon rolls
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
1. In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt.  Microwave on High for 1 minute or until warm.  Whisk in the eggs.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour and yeast. Add the liquid ingredients. Mix on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time, until the dough forms a soft mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook. With the mixer on low, start kneading the dough with the dough hook.  Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl. When the dough is smooth, not sticky, and springs back when you press it with your finger, you’ve kneaded enough (about 4 to 6 minutes). Place the dough in a large, oiled mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place at room temperature until almost doubled, about for 45 to 60 minutes.
4.  Then, proceed with a cinnamon roll recipe.
Variation: For Traditional Cinnamon Roll Dough in the Bread Machine, place the liquid ingredients in the pan of the bread machine after Step 1. Add the flour, then the yeast. Select Dough cycle, and press start. 

1 comment:

Heather S-G said...

Super. Woman.

(Don't even try to deny it.)

I have this book, btw...and yes, the title fits. Love it. Want to make everything. =)