Pears – Beurre Bosc and Packham
Recipes below are:
1. Potato gratin with beurre bosc pear and blue cheese with baby spinach.
2. Beurre Bosc pears caramelised with pikelets.
3. Packham Pear and Mesclun Salad
Biosecurity Issues for the farmer when growing
Pear Biosecurity is taken very seriously in Australia. If you are wondering why many farmers are reluctant for the public to enter their orchards there is a reason. Biosecurity.
Farmers have strict practices governing disease control and it doesn’t matter which farming method you employ regarding soil, water or spray management. The end game for the farmer is to produce crops that are healthy and great eating.
What the Farmer is asked to do by the Agricultural Department is to log all on farm guests,check their tyres carrying dirt from elsewhere, making sure all workers have high hygiene processes, packing sheds are set up in such a way as to reduce contamination. So what are they fighting. Mostly the dreaded Eastern Seaboard Fruit Fly and aiming to prevent Fire Blight, not found in Australia. Fire Blight symptoms are blossom (looking waterlogged); Leaves/stem and new shoot buds turn brown and petal fall.
Hazardous life of a pear
A farmer has so much more to do just to get that one pear off the tree. But the pear has its own challenges. Fight the hail, the storms, the birds, the bats, the caterpillars, the branches…… While quietly swinging on the branch the one pear aiming to survive so they can be picked, packed and sent to market. Sounds like a day at the office sometimes eh? You’ll most likely never hold a pear again without thinking about it’s journey.
What is the difference between a Beurre Bosc and a Packham?
Beurre Bosc season for picking is March to November.
The stronger the brown-russeted skin, the better they taste and the better they keep. Perhaps not pretty – but most serious pear afficionades agree that it has the best flavour.
They can be eaten crunchy but if you wait a few days for them to soften you need to eat them quickly as the sugars activate and they begin to dissolve. Perfect baked in tarts, pan fried or used in salads. One favourite is to finely slice and put in sandwiches. No-one knows what it is and the reaction is quite fun and they love the crunch and sweetness.
Pears are high in fibre and a great energy boost during the day.
Packham are available May through to January so there are only a few months whilst growing that they are not being picked. When ripe they turn an intense green and juicy inside.Again snack, salads or bake.
Try putting slices in a Stir-fry, grate on a salad, slices in your sandwich.
- For the sauce:
- 1 cup cream
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- cayenne pepper, to taste but about ¼ tsp
- For the gratin:
- 2 large desiree potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled and finely sliced
- 4 tbs butter softened
- 1 brown onion, finely sliced
- 100g Gorgonzola Blue-vein cheese (Harvest Hub)
- On Top:
- 5 slices Maasdam Swiss Style Cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Bunch baby spinach
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Need 6 ramekins greased with garlic butter
- To make sauce:
- In a saucepan on medium heat and add cream, garlic and cayenne pepper. Bring to the boil.
- To make the gratin:
- Into each ramekin start layering to the top with potato then pears and blue cheese. After each layer put 2 tbs of sauce.
- Cover the final top with the Maasdam cheese.
- Place the ramekins onto a baking tray and bake 20 minutes. Finish off by turning heat to 200C to brown the top for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven and cool for five minutes. For plating put baby spinach on plate then tip ramekin on top. Sprinkle some Australian Sprinkle seeds on top (Harvest Hub).
- 2 Beurré Bosc pears halved and finely sliced
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbs soft brown sugar
- Lemon juice
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- a pinch salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda or bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg
- 180ml milk
- 2 tbs castor sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp melted butter
- To caramelise the Beurré Bosc pears:
- In a frying pan over a medium high heat add a teaspoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add the sugar then the Beurré Bosc slices. Cook slowly and turn them over until showing golden about 8 to 10 minutes. Last step add lemon juice and then remove from the stove. Allow to cool.
- To make Pikelets:
- In a mixer (by hand or processor) bowl sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add milk, egg, sugar and melted butter. Beat until smooth and a thick pouring consistency. Grease a non-stick fry pan then heat. Place a spoonful of batter and cook until you see bubbles appear. Turn the pikelet over with a spatula and continue cooking until the underside is a light brown. Important to place on a cloth or between layers of paper towel to cool so it doesn’t sweat and go soggy.
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 2 Packham pears, thinly sliced
- 2 handfulls mesclun
- 115g gorgonzola cheese (Harvest Hub)
- For the Dressing:
- 1 tbs spring onions, chopped
- 1½ tbs Dijon mustard
- 2 tbs honey
- ⅓ cup tarragon, chopped
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- To make Dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients except the oil into a small mixing bowl. Slowing drizzle in the oil while whisking until you have a smooth consistency.
- To make Salad:
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat. The pine nuts have a high fat content so be careful not to burn them. Combine the mesclun, pine nuts, gorgonzola and dressing in a large salad bowl and mix. Serve on individual salad plates and top the each plate with slices of pear.