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Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way.
Today: Food52's Assistant Editor Kenzi Wilbur fashions 5 weekday breakfasts -- fit for the holidays -- out of one batch of poached pears.
Remember these red-wine poached pears? They're another multi-purpose, allowed-before-noon dessert, for your holiday season and beyond. Make one large batch, and fashion the leftovers into a multitude of breakfasts without slipping into a sugar coma by lunch.
Long after the holidays are gone, when your need for sexy, slinky desserts has waned, you'll want to make a batch just for these breakfasts.
Crêpes with Pears and Mascarpone
Or farmer's cheese. Or nutella. Pears and mascarpone and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is a little classy, in the best way -- a breakfast meant to be shared with tea and intellectual conversation -- but you can fill these little pancakes at your whimsy. Make a bunch of crêpes, fold them up, and put out a toppings bar for your guests so they can choose their own way. If it's just you, please still put out a toppings bar.
Baked Oatmeal with Poached Pears
This breakfast is a blank slate: sweeten it up if you have fickle company over, don't if you don't, bake it up individually if you feel like something a little fancier. I swapped pears for blueberries and bananas in this recipe, put on some coffee while it baked, and then baptized my serving with a 3-second pour of maple syrup.
Poached Pear Scones
This one is especially great for the holidays: Make a batch of these for company, make them for your hosts, or gift them -- wrapped up in this -- to your friends with a recipe card. Follow this recipe (subbing pears for the rhubarb), and please don't stop making these when the holidays are over -- they're going to taste even better in detox-crazed January.
Yogurt with Walnuts, Poached Pears, and Honey
The only thing you need to know here is that leftover poached pears go well with yogurt. Once you accept that truth, you're free to go wild with the rest. Not a walnut fan? Use rolled oats, or almonds, or granola instead. The important part is that you put your favorite yogurt in a bowl, top it with pears and some other delicious things, and that you call your mom to tell her you ate a healthy, responsible breakfast.
Ricotta Toasts with Pears and Honey
This is just as much breakfast as it is afternoon snack, as it is lunch -- all of which will be happy and stress-free thanks to your pears in the fridge. Toast thick slices of bread, cajole piles of fluffy ricotta onto them, and top with leftover poached pears. Drizzle it with honey. Eat.
4 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup orange juice
Peels from 1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks
A small handful of thyme
6 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, stems left intact (or just peeled)
Photos by Eric Moran