For our mini-Thanksgiving dinner while daughter Liv was home, we added Asian pears to the mix of apples for our apple pies and it was a huge hit. A stop at a farm in Westport last week, where they were practically giving away the Asian pears, prompted me to make apple crisp, replacing apples with the Asian pears, and it was really, really good. I was a little afraid to add the Asian pears to the apple pies because my family loves their apple pie, but have no fear! Next time when making a batch of pies, and if Asian pears are as readily available (and not too pricey), I think I’ll add even more. For two pies, the ratio was 12 Granny Smiths, 12 Fuji apples, and 6 Asian pears.
Pie-making is time consuming; if and when you do have time, what is your favorite apple, or combination thereof, for pie-making?
Their are many varieties of Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia); the one most commonly sold in the United States is the color of a bosc pear, is crisp like an apple, but is also a little grainy like a pear. They are wonderfully delicious eaten out of hand, and as I am learning, for baking, too!
Pyrus pyrifolia is native to Japan, China, and Korea and its many common names include Chinese pear, Korean pear, Japanese pear, Taiwan pear, sand pear, and apple pear. Asian pears are hardy through zone 5 and are easily grown in our climate.