3 de­li­cious ways to use up pears

Turn some of the health­i­est fruits in your gar­den into some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - WORDS KRISTINA JENSEN

The very first dessert I was al­lowed to make all by my­self, around age 10, was a sim­ple but scrump­tious dish in­volv­ing pre­served pears. Mum made it with me the first cou­ple of times, and then ob­vi­ously felt that I had ac­quit­ted my­self well enough to be left un­su­per­vised. First, I had to strain off all the juice from the pears into a saucepan. The pears were then ar­ranged into spe­cial dessert glasses and kept in the fridge. To the syrup in the saucepan, I added a knob of but­ter and two ta­ble­spoons of corn­flour shaken up in a quar­ter of a cup of wa­ter. I then had to stand over the stove and stir un­til the syrup had thick­ened into a won­der­fully tasty sauce. This then joined the pears in the fridge in a lit­tle jug, wait­ing for the fi­nal mo­ment when it all got put to­gether, just be­fore pud­ding time.

All this usu­ally took place when my par­ents were in the shed milk­ing. When I think about it now, Mum must have been pretty happy with my abil­i­ties in the kitchen to let me cook alone.

Thirty to 40 big jars of pears al­ways graced my mother's pantry shelves each sea­son, along with all the fruit cousins. We were fans of stewed fruit with break­fast, and Mum al­ways made pud­ding.

Stewed fruit was just the ticket af­ter din­ner, a ticket I thought ev­ery­one bought. But no, I em­bar­rassed my­self a cou­ple of times stay­ing with friends by sit­ting at the din­ner ta­ble af­ter ev­ery­one else had left, wait­ing for a pud­ding that never ar­rived.

Lately, I've moved away from sweet sug­ary pear desserts into pear chut­neys. I can't de­cide which one I like best so maybe you, like me, will just have to make a bit of both.

JUST A WHIFF OF PRE­SERVED PEAR JUICE AND I CAN FEEL A PEAR DESSERT COM­ING ON

My mum Nancy (left) with her best friend Jean Swindells. Jean is now 94 and tries al­most all the recipes I share in this col­umn.

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