Baked Pears with (Gourmet!) Walnuts and Agave

Monday, September 25th, 2017

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Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit offered me some more goodies for testing, and who am I to turn my nose up at free food? It’s just not in my skill set. And so it was that I came into possession of two whopping ten-pound bags of walnuts and dried blueberries.

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I also just so happen to have a ton of pears and apples from my fruit trees. The first one is a bit of an exaggeration – I only have one pear tree, which maybe gave me twenty-five pears this year (sad!) – while the other’s a lot closer to the truth. I have peeled, sliced, and frozen so many apples that my chest freezer is stuffed nearly full. At this point I estimate it’s 40% pita bread (other things I cannot pass up: a $1/loaf sale on pita bread!), 40% apples, and 20% other (read: french fries and the bowl for my ice cream maker).

Anyway, long story short, I started Googling recipes involving walnuts, blueberries, pears, and apples – in any and every conceivable combination – and one of the first ones to catch my interest was this recipe for Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey at SkinnyTaste.

The recipe is pretty simple, and I pretty much followed it to the t, with one obvious exception: I swapped out the honey for agave nectar. I also used a little less cinnamon, sprinkling it on the pears to taste.

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Pro tip: I kind of stuffed the hollows in the center of each pear half with the walnuts, instead of sprinkling them on top. Overall I dug the effect, but found that the ones on the bottom didn’t get browned as nicely. If you go this route, maybe lightly toast the chopped walnuts first?

Pro tip #2: Carving a small sliver out of the bottom of each pear half really does make them easier to work with!

Pro tip #3: The leftovers taste great warmed in the microwave and served with your favorite cereal. I usually eat baked apples this way, paired up with bran flakes. If you really want to get wild, throw some generic Life cereal or homemade granola on top of the whole shebang.* Very tasty!

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For my next trick, I may or may not turn some of these walnuts into a strudel topping. Stay tuned!

* Baby Kelly would be horrified at this mixing of various foodstuffs. Middle-aged dogs really do learn new tricks.

"Candied" Chai Pears

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Last week, I shared a recipe for Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears, a yummy dish for dogs and people. This week, I decided to try out a slightly different version, sans tofu and with loads of caffeine-laden tea. The result? “Candied” Chai Pears. (“Candied” in scare quotes because they’re candy-esque, not really “candied.”)

“Candied” Chai Pears

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(More below the fold…)

Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Tonight, I have a somewhat odd DIY recipe to share: Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears. The title pretty much says it all.

Currently, we’re knee-deep in an obscene amount of home-grown produce. We’ve got a garden with at least six varieties of tomatoes (grape, cherry, roma, beefsteak and some other kinds whose names we’ve long since forgotten); green pepper; jalapenos; green and yellow zucchini; Italian “spaghetti” squash; cantaloupe; watermelon; gourds; pumpkins…and, um, I think that’s it. I could be mistaken, though.

Since summer blossomed, we also discovered that we have four apple and two pear trees, as well as some blackberry bushes that I refuse to harvest, seeing as they share the forest/pasture border with a whole lotta poison ivy. Berries may be yummy, but they’re still not worth it. We also have two trees that appear to be fruit-bearing, but we’ve yet to name that fruit. So, to recap…we have about 45 bags of apples sitting in our garage, along with three bags of overripe pears and two big fat watermelons.

I devised this particular recipe while doing yoga, my wandering mind trying to figure out what the eff to do with all those apples (!). My Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears dish is technically “dog food,” but like most of my for-canine concoctions, Shane and I loved it too.

This recipe fills two large baking pans (remember, I bake in bulk), but since the produce shrinks during baking, it actually yields a smaller serving than you might think. Maybe….16 cups after cooking? The entire recipe fit in my third-largest Tupperware container, in any case.

Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears

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(More below the fold…)