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One of my favorite fruits appears for a brief window in November and then is gone for another year. Welcome the Seckel pear.

The Lovely Seckel

Despite preferring apples to pears, I find the little Seckel a true gem hidden among all the Boscs, Bartletts, Reds and Anjous. Just so you know, I do eat and enjoy pears, but given the choice I’ll usually take apples. That is, unless we’re talking about this tiny little delicacy which holds a major place in my fruit love. Maybe it’s the adorably petite size or the ultra-crunchy flesh or the olivie, limie (those are my words) coloring with a blush of maroon. I don’t know. These aren’t pears that need to ripen, they’re ready to eat when you purchase them. In fact, if they start ripening, you won’t enjoy them. It’s their crispy crunch that makes them so good.

Every November, I seek them out, buying six at a time (they are small) and then rationing them. At the season’s start they can run as high as $2.99 per pound but as I said being baby-sized you don’t really exceed the one pound mark even with six! As time passes the price drops to $1.99 which is when I buy eight to ten at a crack. I have to get all I can to weather the coming year without them. You’ll notice from the photo that at their widest part they’re only about the length of my little finger. Teensy.

A few days ago, I took several and sliced them into thin wedges, giving them a wash of fresh lemon juice to halt any browning and set them gently in a small bowl. (Sorry, no photo.) To this I added a couple sprinkles of white balsamic and then about a quarter cup of rum (enough to just cover) mixed with a scant teaspoon of sugar. Covered with plastic wrap or the bowl’s lid and refrigerated a few hours. Stir and spoon over a scoop of vanilla yogurt or ice cream depending on your preference.

Was quite surprised that it was a perfect combo since I rarely throw things together. I must have been standing behind the door when they handed out the gift for making up your own recipes…really prefer to follow a proven formula. In this case though, I figured one couldn’t goof it up too much. Fruit and alcohol. Surprise, it worked. I’m thinking that a bit of fresh chopped thyme might be a nice addition. Perhaps some chopped up walnuts though those could be a bit overpowering. Brandy would work in place of rum, actually almost any liquor would I guess.

Reminded me of a compote (for lack of a better word) I made up a few summers ago with slices of colored sweet peppers and onion sprinkled with balsamic and left to masticate for 24+ hours. Unfortunately, 😦 I didn’t write that concoction down and have forgotten the other ingredients and process used. It came out so good. Used it over meats, eggs, vegetables and on bruschetta. Even served it as a side dish all by itself with a main course.

You may notice from the photo that it looks a bit wet and grey here today. For the next five days or so, we’re supposed to get rain (more like drizzle) off and on. It’s a very nice change of pace. Hope you’re enjoying your autumn and getting in a holiday mood, that is, if you’re so inclined.

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