Vanilla Pear Pastries
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Peel 4 pears, cut in half and remove the cores, keeping the stalks. Heat a deep-frying pan with 3 cups of water. Simmer, then add the pears with a halved vanilla pod. Cook for 5 minutes. Brush 8 filo sheets with melted butter, then sprinkle over ½ tsp of golden caster sugar. Fold filo sheets in half, then in half again to form squares. Place a pear half on top of each filo square. Fold in the corners to enclose the pear. Brush with liquid honey, then transfer pastries to a baking-paper-lined tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.
Baked Pear Halves With Maple Syrup
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Halve 3 pears and remove cores, keeping stalks. Toast ½ cup hazelnuts and chop. Mix ½ cup maple syrup with beans scraped from 1 vanilla pod. Place pears on a baking-paper-lined tray. Sprinkle over hazelnuts. Drizzle with maple and vanilla syrup. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with custard.
Mix 1.5kg peeled, cored and diced ripe pears, 3 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp salt, a pinch ground nutmeg and a pinch ground cloves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer with lid ajar, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes. Once mixture has reduced and thickened, transfer to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to clean, dry jars. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
White Wine & Pear Sangria
Peel, core and slice 2 pears and drizzle with 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Place pears in a large glass jug with 1 cup of ice cubes, 1 tsp Angostura bitters, 100ml triple sec and 750ml of medium white wine (such as riesling or pinot gris). Stir, then add lemon wedges, sliced green grapes and mint leaves to garnish. Refrigerate for about 4 hours so the fruit has time to soak up the flavours.
Pear and cheese work wonderfully together. For a classic salad, mix sliced pear, blue cheese or shaved parmesan, rocket leaves and lightly toasted walnuts. Dress with a balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette.