Pick a Perfect Anjou Pear

March 31, 2014 – Sweet but mild; juicy but firm. Ah, now that’s what it’s like to bite into the perfect Anjou pear! They are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C, to boot. It’s no wonder they are the most popular fruit in the world! Sliced, diced, broiled or raw – we love pears any old way.

How to Choose It
Anjous can have green or red skin, but the texture and flavor of both colors are about the same. Look for Anjous that feel heavy for their size (an indicator of juiciness) with taut skin. A matte skin means pears are ripe; shiny skin means they aren’t quite ready yet. Pears ripen after they have been picked, so they will continue to ripen on your counter at home.

How to Store It
Stand pears, unwashed, on their bottoms on the counter for up to 5 days. If you need them to ripen faster, place them in a pierced paper bag with an apple, which emits ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process of pears. Check the neck for ripeness. When they’re ready to eat, the neck will give a little when pressed. Refrigerate ripe pears for up to 5 days.

How to Use It
Anjous are a culinary super star – their dense texture means they can be cooked and eaten in just about any way you like. They are delicious to eat raw as an out-of-hand snack. They also take to a variety of preparations:

Pear Spinach SaladRaw and sliced or diced: Cut them just before eating or sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Top salads, mix into oatmeal or slip into a grilled cheese sandwich.

Broiled: Slice pears in half, coat with 1 teaspoon of butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place under the broiler for about 5-8 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized. Eat as is or top with frozen yogurt.

RB_IndvidualPoachedPearCrumble_RecipewebGrilled: Place thick slices on an oiled grill. Cook on each side for 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve slices with honey and ricotta cheese for a light dessert.

Poached: Store-bought juice makes for a flavorful poaching liquid, such as in this Poached Pear Crumble from the ALDI Test Kitchen.


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