A perfect pair of pear dishes

Recipes by James Eddington
Eddington’s of Exeter
527 Main Street, Exeter, 519-235-3030 http://www.eddingtons.ca

Photos by Casey Lessard

With fall’s arrival, it’s a good time to celebrate the food that falls from the trees in your backyard: pears. Here, James presents two delicious recipes that take advantage of a fruit you can easily find in Ontario, and possibly right at home; if you don’t have a pear tree, perhaps a friend does. The season is short, so enjoy these recipes soon!

Pear and Brie tart

Puff pastry
Cream cheese
Brie cheese
Fresh Ontario pears
Brown sugar
Heavy cream

Cut puff pastry into triangle sized pieces. Spread out triangles, leaving at least one inch between triangles. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-15 minutes until light golden in colour. Pastry will have tripled in size. Let cool for ~10 minutes.
Cut or peel apart triangles horizontally along the centre of the pastry. Set aside top piece.
Spread cream cheese on bottom piece.
In sauté pan on medium to low heat, add 2 tsp of butter and 3 tsp of brown sugar. Thinly slice pears and add to pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes until pears are relatively softened. Remove pears and layer over cream cheese covered pastry.
Add a splash of heavy cream to sauté pan to create a sauce from sugar, butter and cooked pear juices.
On top of pears, add a wedge of brie. Transfer back to oven until Brie has softened 5-7 minutes. When ready to serve, place bottom pastry piece (with layers of cheese and pears) on plate. Put top piece of puff pastry on the angle opposite of bottom piece. Quickly reheat sauce in sauté pan and drizzle over top piece.
Ice cream and fresh berries make a wonderful garnish.

Parsnip and Pear Soup

1 onion, diced
1/2 stalk of celery, diced
3 lb. parsnip, diced
2 lb. fresh Ontario pears, diced
garlic, minced
white wine
heavy cream
8 cups chicken stock
fresh herbs
(basil, thyme and bay leaf)
honey or sugar
35% cream

In large stock pot, add 1/4 lb. of butter, then add onions and celery. Sauté over medium heat until soft (10 min), stirring periodically. Add parsnips, pears, minced garlic and 8 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one hour. After the hour, add basil and thyme to liking.
Bring soup back to boil and add 1 cup of 35% cream and blend with hand mixer until smooth.
At this point, taste soup; if it needs more seasoning do so. If it’s bland, add a little salt. If not sweet enough, this is the time to add honey and or sugar. Once added, bring soup back to boil and reblend. Then add bay leaf and let rest or serve immediately. Soup can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Freezing this soup: if you plan on making a large batch and freezing, omit the heavy cream and add when reheating.

Simple, easy and tasty, the joy of Ontario’s pears.