I feel a bit bad for pears. Think about it—come September, apples start popping up by the bushel in farmers markets, and everyone promptly declares it "fall" and loses their minds.
So what about pears, their seasonal siblings? They have just as much to offer as apples. They're subtly sweet, come in many varietals, and have a giving texture (perfect for poaching and baking and roasting). In general, we underutilize pears, and wrongfully so.
Pears deserve their 15 minutes this fall. Here are 16 sweet recipes to place them squarely in the spotlight.
Poaching the pears in sherry lends a fall-forward raisin-coffee-molasses flavor to this light, delicately sweet clafoutis you'll want to bake all season.
This chocolatey pear tarte might look and sound fancy-schmancy, but the steps—though there are many—are actually pretty straightforward, and well worth the effort.
You might think burrata (mozzarella's dreamy, creamy cousin) is best served savory, but try it alongside these sweet and simple honey-poached pears and I promise you'll change your mind.
Thinly sliced pears get layered with simmered cranberries over an all-butter-meets-graham-cracker pie crust and served with a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream—what's not to love?
Another winning pear-cranberry combo, this marvelous creation from certified Pie Queen, Erin McDowell, has a crispy-golden crust on the bottom and the top. Win, win.
This fantastic French toast couldn't be easier or more satisfying: the whole thing is flavored with cardamom, nutmeg, and orange zest, and gets baked in one big casserole dish (so no frying up individual slices of bread).
One Food52er described this unfussy pear and almond cake as "light and airy, and so fabulous," and yep, we'd pretty much have to agree with that.
Bake up a big batch of these ginger-spiced, nutty muffins on October 1 and eat them every morning, soaking up the newly crisp fall air with each bite.
When you're in need of a quick dessert that delivers on flavor, make these baked pears drizzled in thick caramel—they only take five ingredients and 20 minutes.
Another simple, last-minute dessert you can whip up on the fly: these oven-roasted pears basted in a heady mix of apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, cardamon, and vanilla.
Instead of matching up pears with the usual suspects—cinnamon, cardamom, ginger—try them with garam masala. The spice blend's "heat of black peppers and red chili powder wake up the palate and make the other flavors sing," writes recipe author and Food52er, janeofmanytrade.
These elegant, Cabernet-colored poached pears will stand out on any holiday dinner table, but taste even better the next day served over breakfast-y yogurt or oatmeal.
This cake has everything you could want in an autumn dessert—it's sweet and savory all at once, plus it's gluten-free, making it perfect for guests with dietary restrictions.
Simply put: This anise-spiced pear tarte tatin, with it's buttery-crisp crust and caramel-drenched pears, is a keeper.
Pears are certainly the star of this thin-sponge, stuffed cake, but the ingredient you need to pay closest attention to is the ricotta—you want ricotta that can stand up on its own, and won't slump when you spread it.
Much less fussy than their pie counterparts, these rustic galettes are perfect for impromptu weekend baking or a casual dinner party.
This post has been updated by the Food52 editors in August 2019 to include more tasty pear desserts for fall.
Whether you're in the mood for some soup-simmering, leaf-peeping, or nothing at all, your dream weekend awaits...View Guide