Pear-fect recipes ripe for the making

Posted: September 27, 2012

HERE ARE SOME recipes using Asian pears from Subarashii Kudamono.

ASIAN PEAR GINGER CAKE

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup sliced, fresh Asian pears (Yoinashi if available)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

8 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated fresh Asian pears (AsaJu, if available)

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, tossed in 1 teaspoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter in an 8-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and press into the buttered surface.

Arrange the pear slices on top of the brown sugar so they are close together but not overlapping.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ground ginger in a medium bowl.

Using mixer, cream the 8 tablespoons softened butter with the 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs while mixing, then add vanilla extract.

Alternate the flour mixture and the milk until combined. Fold in grated Asian pears and the crystallized ginger. Pour mixture into the pan over the sliced pears.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool out of the oven for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Makes an 8-inch cake.

STIR FRY WITH ASIAN PEARS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 pound cooked, shelled shrimp (or 1/2 pound cubed beef, pork or chicken)

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

1/2 pound fresh snow peas

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 cups Asian pears, peeled and diced (about 3 medium)

1 tablespoon pickled ginger, minced

1 10-ounce container extra firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

Heat oil in large wok or pan. Add garlic and heat until garlic is light golden. Add shrimp or other protein and snow peas to pan and stir-fry approximately 6 minutes. Prepare sauce by combining cornstarch, water and soy sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add sauce to the pan along with bean sprouts, water chestnuts, Asian pears and pickled ginger.

Cook for 3 minutes, stirring, to mix ingredients. Add tofu and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve alone or over rice or pasta. Serves 4.

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